Sandy Merriman House - Emergency Shelter for Women
The Sandy Merriman Emergency Shelter opened its doors for the first time on December 19th, 1995. It had 15 beds for women in need and the length of stay for each resident was seven days. It did not take long for before they saw their first clients.
Today, Sandy Merriman House has 25 beds and our daytime drop in program averages over 800 hot, nutritious meals served each month. Our daytime services are open to all women in the community over the age of 19 years. We find many of the women that access our daytime services need to do so as they cannot afford to buy groceries and at the same time pay for rent. The drop-in program offers a hot meal, unlimited coffee/tea and juice, laundry and shower facilities, hygiene supplies, clothing, support and referrals from the Shelter Support Workers and the Client Support Workers. We do offer different types of programs for those interested such as Reiki, arts and crafts, and guest speakers from different agencies. All services at Sandy Merriman are completely free for the women.
The Next Steps Transitional Shelter , located at 2317 Dowler Place in North Park, provides an opportunity for 15 emergency shelter clients to access the resources and services they need to get their lives back on track. Such services include housing, employment, financial, life skills, and mentorship, as well as physical and mental health services. Our experienced staff will work closely with individual participants to develop personal action plans designed to help them move to a better place to live their lives.
The Extreme Weather Protocol is a community response program involving shelter providers, faith groups, social service agencies, fire and police, working together to increase the number of emergency shelter beds available during acute winter weather conditions of heavy wind, heavy rain, snow and temperatures of zero or below. This initiative was first introduced after a severe cold snap in January 2004, when the City's Silver Threads building was used as a short-term emergency shelter.
When extreme weather conditions are predicted and year-round shelter beds are full, participating organizations implement the Extreme Weather Protocol by opening up additional shelters and moving to overflow beds. Shelter capacity expands from 245 to 370 emergency beds and mats, including 30 mats for youth from October 15 to April 15 and 40 mats for adults from November 1 to March 31.
Help Needed to Equip Extra Emergency Homeless Shelters
The Extreme Weather Protocol Committee is asking the community to help equip extra emergency homeless shelters for extreme weather conditions this winter by contributing resources such as blankets, self-inflating mats, towels, solid footwear and rain-proof jackets, as well as money, time, and additional shelter spaces.
Donations and contributions can be directed to the program coordinator – Jen Book (contact below)
Out of the Rain works to reduce the risks faced by homeless youth by supplying a warm, safe and dry environment for youth aged 15 to 25. The shelter operates 7 days a week, from October to April, rotating among hosts sites in the community in an effort to maximize community resources. The Downtown Community Centre, at 755 Pandora Avenue, hosts the shelter on Sundays from 9 pm to 7 am.
The Victoria Cool Aid Society, with support from BC Housing, moved the services from the Streetlink emergency shelter at 1634 Store Street to the new Rock Bay Landing facility at 535 Ellice Street on Wednesday, November 3. Streetlink will now be converted into 23 units of permanent, supportive housing for adults.
Streetlink was located at 1634 Store Street (250-383-1951) and provided 80 beds of emergency shelter for temporarily or chronically homeless adults. Clients received referrals, hygiene services, mental health services, housing advocacy, community liaison, and crisis and life skills counseling.