Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Addressing Homelessness in Saanich

People experiencing homelessness, including those who were living at the Regina Park encampment in Saanich, will have earlier access to safe shelter spaces in Victoria starting in October 2018.
Overnight shelter will be available every night, regardless of whether an extreme weather alert has been issued.

In response to the urgent need for shelter spaces in Saanich and Victoria, the Province has partnered with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre to provide expanded services... to make sure more people have a warm place to stay overnight.

Located at 231 Regina Ave. in Victoria, the 25-bed shelter will be open nightly from 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. from Oct. 1, 2018, until March 31, 2019. This is normally an extreme-weather shelter location, but is being opened early due to urgent need. The friendship centre will provide shuttle services from predetermined pick up points, meals, showers and access to laundry facilities on site.
BC Housing is working with other non-profit partners to expedite the opening of other winter shelters as soon as possible.

 Outreach teams will continue to help connect people experiencing homelessness with housing and support services, such as income assistance and mental health services.

Quick Facts:
To help address homelessness in B.C., the Province is partnering with 22 municipalities to build more than 2,000 modular homes with 24/7 support services.

Through the new Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, an additional 2,500 new supportive homes will be delivered throughout the province. The District of Saanich has been offered funding through this program.

 The Province is currently developing a homelessness action plan informed by the results of the 2018 homeless counts, the comprehensive consultation on the Poverty Reduction Strategy and engagements with experts on homelessness from around British Columbia.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To learn more about the Province’s emergency shelter program, visit: www.bchousing.org/…/homelessness-…/emergency-shelter-program

To see a map of permanent and temporary shelters in B.C., visit: www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/Map

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

On behalf of my colleague Minister Selina Robinson, I am honored to announce today that affordable rental homes for seniors, adults with disabilities, and families are now under construction in Saanich. Thanks to a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the Capital Region Housing Corporation.

Westview, located at 3816 Carey Rd, will provide 73 affordable rental homes for people in Saanich and the Capital Regional District. The four-storey building will contain 11 studio apartments, 38 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartments and four three bedroom apartments.

I’m thrilled to have these homes break ground in Saanich. By investing in more affordable projects like Westview, our government is working hard so people can live and stay in their communities, close to family and where they work. Our government will continue working to fix problems and get results for people, to create a better future for everyone.

I know these homes will enrich the lives of those who live here, and the community for many years to come.

More information:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Monthly Micro-Actions: No Excuse for Single-Use

Written by: Laska Pare

 According to Zero Waste Canada, coffee is the most common beverage after water for adults.[1] Whether you drink coffee, tea or a Triple-Venti-Half Sweet-Caramel Macchiato, most of it is served in single-use paper cups. We all want quality and crave convenience. But what about saving money, spending less and reducing landfill waste?

Did you know:
  • Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely tricky
  • 70% of the world’s paper comes from diminishing forests, not from plantations or recycling
  • Very little recycled paper is used to make disposable cups due to health risk concerns
** “Did you know FACTS provided by ecoffee cup
A huge problem with “to go” is where the coffee cup is travelling and what we do with it when we no longer want it. Recycling across BC is dynamic and site specific, and this can lead to confusion and frustration when you're trying to do the right thing. The average number of steps someone will carry garbage is twelve paces[2]. As much as everyone would like to be an environmental steward, many consumers are unwilling to carry the cup until they find a recycling, composting or disposal options, and providing these options on city streets, in malls, at beaches, and in parks has a cost.
While most communities have “to go” options for take-out, not every community has the options to deal with the discards. But as consumers, it is the decisions we make that will make a difference.

Micro-Actions For September

No. 1: Support local businesses who offer green alternatives. Some local businesses in Greater Victoria offer low-impact, compostable cups.

No. 2: Many municipalities DO accept paper cups in the curbside recycling collection program as containers (not as paper). But it’s rare the discarded cup travels back to the consumer’s home to be placed in the recycling.

No. 3: Get a reusable mug! If we really want to avoid creating waste, we have to make conscious changes in our behaviours. Using a reusable mug is a great start and a micro way you can make a difference. In this video, which aired on Shaw TV earlier this year, I explore the single-use cup issue in Greater Victoria and talk about how you can contribute to a sustainable future.

As consumers, it is us who need to lead the way to reducing and reusing. Now realizing the impact of disposable cups we have to be the ones to create change.

[1] http://zerowastecanada.ca/the-brewing-problem-of-the-to-go-coffee-cup/
[2] http://zerowastecanada.ca/the-brewing-problem-of-the-to-go-coffee-cup/