Homelessness touches many lives at a significant cost to communities.
The Victoria Cool Aid Society has been a key player in the work to end homelessness in the Capital Region for decades and is taking a lead role in developing 360 more apartments for people who are currently homeless.
The annual per apartment cost of new supportive housing is estimated at $37,000, compared to the estimate of $55,000 per year each homeless person costs government in health and emergency services. Building new housing for people who are homeless will save lives and save costs. It’s the right thing to do, from an economic, social and community perspective.
Since 1991, the Victoria Cool Aid Society has provided housing for thousands of people who have been homeless. In addition to its ten supportive housing complexes, Cool Aid operates three emergency shelters, the Access Health Centre which provides primary health and dental care to 4,000 patients, the Downtown Community Centre, and REES, a mental health support and employment centre.
In the past ten years, the Society has successfully opened nine new buildings whose programs are all fully funded and operating. With the help of the community, we are prepared to open another apartment building or two per year to help end homelessness by 2018.
While the exact number of people who are homeless is not known, there were approximately 1,200 individuals living in temporary accommodation in February 2012 in Greater Victoria and an additional 35 individuals turned away on the night of the homeless count. In 2012, by way of its Housing Procurement Action Plan, the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness called for the creation of new housing for approximately 1,000 people who are homeless.
Cool Aid is committed to responding to this call by providing housing for 360 men and women who are presently without homes in Greater Victoria.
To achieve this, Cool Aid’s plan is to raise $4 million from individuals, foundations and businesses to build and re‐purpose six or more new supportive housing buildings by 2018.