New Access Hub for Street Community

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The City of Victoria has entered into a service agreement with SOLID Outreach Society to fund the operations of a new access hub facility at 2155 Dowler Place that will provide wrap-around community-based services to reduce the risk and impacts of homelessness.

The City is providing up to $1.8 million in annual operating funding and has provided a one-time grant of $300,000 to help SOLID acquire the property. The initiative is funded by the City’s Financial Stability Reserve, which can be used to fund operating and environmental emergencies – specifically situations related to public safety and emerging demands.

“Providing everyone with a pathway away from addiction and homelessness and reducing the impact it has on individuals, families and the community cannot wait,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. “SOLID’s peer-based approach has shown it is highly effective in working with the street community, while maintaining positive relationships with neighbours and other organizations that are key to ensuring successful programs for its service users and the surrounding community.”
The new access hub will be owned and operated by SOLID and will be funded by the City of Victoria for up to one year. The 5,264 square-foot property sits on the boundary of three neighbourhoods: North Park, Hillside Quadra and Burnside.  

“The access hub is designed as a welcoming low-barrier access point for people experiencing acute addiction and/or mental health issues, who are under-served by existing street services,” said Jack Phillips, Executive Director of SOLID Outreach Society. “We’re focused on providing tailored supports to individuals based on their specific needs and abilities rather than a cookie-cutter approach that often leaves people behind.”

The new facility will provide a welcoming community space where individuals will have immediate survival needs for food, harm reduction and overdose prevention services met, and will also receive immediate supports in accessing health and support services and referrals including wound care and longer-term health issues, accompaniment to hospital, rapid access to detox and treatment and housing case management. Up to 50 people will be able to be served at a time and the facility will be open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

“The priority of our staff is to make sure people are connected to the services they need in a rapid, meaningful and ongoing way – including accessing and maintaining housing, finding the right fit with treatment options and lots of ways of plugging into our community through vocational training, support groups and other daily activities,” said Mark Willson, Senior Director of Operations and Finance at SOLID.  

The property will be fenced and security will be provided by SOLID, who will work collaboratively with City Bylaw officers, VicPD, the Victoria Fire Department and City personnel to maintain a safe and clean site and to address any impacts on neighbouring properties. The new facility requires some improvements and upgrades and is anticipated to open in the coming months.

Founded in 2003, SOLID is a non-profit society that provides experiential street support services to reduce the harms associated with poverty, drug use and homelessness in Victoria. SOLID provides overdose prevention services at seven sites in Victoria, outreach to homeless encampments, housing case management and housing support, health access and detox/treatment and Indigenous-led cultural programs. At the core of their work is a commitment to peer-based services.  
The City’s service agreement with SOLID aligns with Council’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan’s priority, Community Wellbeing and Safety, and specifically the following two actions: support a range of civilian, bylaw and policing crisis response and prevention services; and work with partner agencies and governments to create life opportunities for unhoused people.

Media Contacts: 
Colleen Mycroft
Manager of Intergovernmental and Media Relations
250.896.5325  |

Jack Phillips 
Executive Director
SOLID Outreach Society
250.889.7317  |

Mark Willson
Senior Director of Operations and Finance
SOLID Outreach Society
250.891.9299  |