Tally Ho – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Do This at the Tally Ho?

Why was the Tally Ho site chosen by BC Housing and Cool Aid?

What are the Next Steps for Redevelopment of the site?

What is the timeline for moving residents into the Tally Ho site?

Who Will Live At and Visit the Tally Ho?

Who will live in these apartments?

Will guests be allowed at the Tally Ho?

What are the expectations of the residents?

Will the people living at the Tally Ho be employed?

Will you allow pets at the Tally Ho?

Tell Us About Support Services At the Tally Ho

What is “Supportive Housing”?

What kind of on-site supports will be provided to the supportive housing residents?

Does Cool Aid have any measurable results or evidence to show that your programs and services are successful?

Will there be a safe injection site at the Tally Ho or any drop-in services?

What does “low barrier” mean?

How Will You Ensure the Safety of Neighbours?

How will you maintain the safety and security of all residents if there are high needs residents on-site?

How will Cool Aid assist with maintaining safety and security in our neighbourhoods?

Will there be security on-site?

Communication and Contact Information

How will Cool Aid and BC Housing communicate with us as the redevelopment plans progress?

If I have any questions or concerns who should I contact?


Why Do This at the Tally Ho?

Why was the Tally Ho site chosen by BC Housing and Cool Aid?

The Tally Ho was purchased in March 2017, as part of the Provincial Government’s housing initiatives. Given the current real estate market conditions in Victoria, finding suitable sites for supportive and affordable rental housing is challenging, particularly ones that can be repurposed quickly as an emergency response.

The Tally Ho site was unique in that it offered the opportunity to accommodate urgently needed supportive housing for the community with only minor renovations.  At the same time, the redevelopment potential of the site means that there is an opportunity to achieve a higher density, mixed use (both commercial and residential) on the site.

The goal of Cool Aid’s redevelopment plan is twofold: to develop an asset which achieves a mix of supportive housing and affordable rental housing on the site; and which honours the community’s goals and vision for the Burnside Gorge area.  Cool Aid Society will collaborate with the neighbourhood on the visioning for this development.

The key factors which contribute to making the Tally Ho an appropriate site for supportive housing under the Temporary Use Permit include:

  • A controlled access to the building where staff can easily interact and support residents and neighbours to ensure that security is maintained.
  • Internal spaces for use by the residents which decreases loitering outside of the building.
  • A commercial kitchen and dining area for meal preparation and dining.
  • Close proximity to the employment, counselling and health care services which Cool Aid provides downtown.
  • Close proximity to Mayfair Mall, many bus routes and Topaz Park.


What are the Next Steps for Redevelopment of the site?

Re-development of the site will be led by the Victoria Cool Aid Society.

Cool Aid is currently holding a series of community meetings with local residents to further define the vision for the site.  The format of these meeting are interactive and focussed on exploring the community’s vision for this site and their neighbourhood.  To see when the next meeting is being held please visit www.CoolAid.org/tallyho.

The timeline for re-development of the site is:

  • Completion of planning and schematic design process: April 2018
  • Completion of full schematic design and rezoning process: October 2018
  • Completion design development and contract drawings process: March 2019
  • Completion of contract tendering and Building Permit: May 2019
  • Construction and occupancy: November 2020.


What is the timeline for moving residents into the Tally Ho site?

The Tally Ho is currently being renovated to make it more appropriate for housing people for up to three years. We expect that all 52 apartments will be filled on or before March 31, 2018.


Who Will Live At and Visit the Tally Ho?

Who will live in these apartments?

The 52 small apartments are intended for a wide variety of needs and ages, including mental health conditions, addictions, head injuries and fetal alcohol syndrome for men and women who have been homeless and require housing and support services.

All people housed at the Tally Ho will have been previously homeless, with 36 individuals scheduled to move from the Choices Transitional Home operated by Our Place (closing by March 31, 2018) and 12 individuals moving from Mount Edwards operated by Cool Aid (they don’t meet the upcoming age or recovery restrictions).

We know through the use of the Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) that of these residents 43% have low support needs, 42% have medium support needs and 15% have high support needs.

Demographically, we know that 37% are female and 63% are male. Regarding their ages, 8% are in their 20’sp; 27% in their 30’s; 27% in their 40’s; and 38% are over 50.

Both of these resident groups have been stabilized in their current communities and are motivated to continue to work on their individual goals.


Will guests be allowed at the Tally Ho?

Cool Aid’s guest policies are different from building to building and are negotiated with the tenants and based on the advice of on-site staff.  All of our housing buildings are covered under the Residential Tenancy Act which supports the rights and responsibilities of tenants including the ability to restrict unwanted visitors on a case-by-case basis.

The current residents of both Choices and Mount Edwards have collectively agreed to restrict guest access to their respective buildings.


What are the expectations of the residents?

At the Tally Ho, there will be dedicated staff (Client Service Workers and Residential Service Workers) who will work with residents to develop and implement their own personal goal plans for improving health, gaining meaningful employment, and reintegrating into community. These plans could also include strategies and training opportunities around addiction treatment, trauma recovery, behaviour management, volunteering and ready-to-rent programs.

At minimum, Cool Aid requires that all residents respect the safety and security of other residents, guests and staff in and around our buildings, including our local neighbourhood communities. We work closely with our area police departments and cooperate fully with any investigations or concerns that arise. Our goal is to support our residents to be successful in maintaining housing, reducing antisocial behaviours, and positively contributing to the community. If problems persist, other options such as transferring to another building may be considered.


Will the people living at the Tally Ho be employed?

A number of people who live in Cool Aid housing, including some of those who will be moving into the Tally Ho, have regular jobs, as well as casual work. (This is also true of people staying in emergency shelters, like Rock Bay Landing and Sandy Merriman House.)

As well, Cool Aid has a longstanding policy of providing employment training opportunities for residents who want to gain some skills and earn a bit of money. Their janitorial contributions help build community and pride within the apartment building as well as providing new skills.

Other Cool Aid programs also provide employment training and placement opportunities for our residents and other clients:

  • Cool Aid’s Community Casual Labour Pool provides a free placement service for employers and casual workers who are available, trained and ready to work, including home owners who need help gardening, moving or with other needs.
  • The Downtown Community Centre, operated by Cool Aid at 755 Pandora Avenue near City Hall, provides employment training opportunities, lifeskills courses and healthy recreation opportunities for our residents and others. The free Community Kitchen program, for example, provides training in nutrition, food purchasing, preparation and storage, and leads to a Food Safe certification for participants.
  • The Beacon Services-Cool Aid Thrift Shop at 715 Pandora Avenue provides Cool Aid clients with employment training opportunities in retail operations as well as an inexpensive place to purchase clothing, household goods and other needed essentials.


Will you allow pets at the Tally Ho?

Pets are very important to people who have been homeless which is why all Cool Aid housing buildings, including the Tally Ho, welcome our clients’ pets.

One of Cool Aid’s supporters is the Sooke Animal Food and Rescue Society (SAFARS), whose donors provide a significant amount of food for pets who are living with Cool Aid clients.

As well, Cool Aid has set up a “Pets In Need Endowment” at the Victoria Foundation to help our clients with some of their pet expenses, such as operations, thanks to a generous bequest in his will from the late Carl Young.


Tell Us About Support Services At the Tally Ho

What is “Supportive Housing”?

Supportive housing is subsidized housing with on-site staff to support the tenants. Professional housing workers help clients stay well by providing a range of on-site services including: community development, meals, laundry, life skills training, connections to primary health care, mental health and substance use services.


What kind of on-site supports will be provided to the supportive housing residents?

This building is well supported by a larger-than-usual complement of professional staff, which includes a minimum of at least two housing workers on site 24/7/365, as well as an on-site Team Leader and a Client Services Worker to help tenants with their long-term plans. As well, kitchen staff, visiting nurses and other Cool Aid staff will be in the building to deliver services regularly. John Sherratt, the Housing Manager responsible for this building will be onsite regularly and is available by email: jSherratt@CoolAid.org

  • Professional staff assist residents with goal setting and case planning, including assistance with employment and housing readiness.
  • One hot nutritious meal and a light breakfast are provided daily.
  • Health supports are on-site weekly. Addiction and recovery supports are provided including referrals to other organizations such as Umbrella or programs like AA, NA or LifeRing.
  • Life skills programming include financial and budgeting education.
  • Cool Aid will create a “clean and safe” team to support pre-employment goals and help keep the neighbourhood free of litter and other debris.


Does Cool Aid have any measurable results or evidence to show that your programs and services are successful?

Yes, Cool Aid utilizes a Balanced Scorecard methodology to measure our progress towards meeting our strategic objectives and reports out annually to the community. Cool Aid has also been featured in local and national research as an example of best practices in supportive housing. There are also a number of reports and research papers on our website highlighting the effectiveness of supportive housing in addressing issues of homelessness.


Will there be a safe injection site at the Tally Ho or any drop-in services?

No. There will not be a safe injection site at the Tally Ho, nor any drop-in services. All services are for residents only.


What does “low barrier” mean?

Low barrier does not mean no or low expectations. Low barrier housing and services means that a person can access them no matter their level of need. Insisting that people become “clean” before providing them with safe and secure housing simply keeps people homeless for longer – leading to more problems in neighbourhood and more cost to the system.

What works better is harm reduction and housing first, where people are accepted no matter what their condition, helped to stabilize in housing, and then encouraged to work on whatever challenges have caused them to become homeless.

As well, residents who are still active in their addictions are allowed to use within their own apartments rather than out in the community. Residents are encouraged to use safely by engaging in a buddy system or alerting staff to check in on them.


How Will You Ensure the Safety of Neighbours?


How will you maintain the safety and security of all residents if there are high needs residents on-site?

Professional staff onsite 24/7, security cameras, attention to exterior lighting and landscaping and our experience providing secure housing make this possible.

Cool Aid currently manages 13 apartment buildings in Langford, Victoria and Saanich, for people with a variety of levels of support need in addition to their need for low-cost, safe and secure housing. With two noted exceptions, the buildings have zero impact on their neighbourhoods. While this may sound counter-intuitive, the fact that people have been able to obtain housing, in many cases after years of being homeless, motivates important changes in their behaviours, as does the support of our professional staff helping them to recover and stabilize.

We invite you to have a look any one of our apartment buildings, which you can read about at www.CoolAid.org/housing, and check one out close to you. If you would like a formal tour, please contact our Director of Residential Services, Don McTavish at 250-383-1977 or dmctavish@CoolAid.org.


How will Cool Aid assist with maintaining safety and security in our neighbourhoods?

The operating agreement with BC Housing includes funding for two staff members to be on-site 24 hours/ 7 days per week.  The contact information for the building will be made available to our community neighbors so that we can respond to concerns quickly. Should any issues arise that necessitate emergency services, Cool Aid staff will contact police or ambulance as needed.

Cool Aid Society staff are trained to manage any situations that might arise in our supportive housing settings.  It should be noted that such incidents almost always occur within the building and not in the neighbourhood.


Will there be security on-site?

Cool Aid is exploring with BC Housing the feasibility of a shared security service, on a trial basis between the Douglas Street Community property and the Tally Ho.


Communication and Contact Information

How will Cool Aid and BC Housing communicate with us as the redevelopment plans progress?

Cool Aid and BC Housing will use a variety of means to communicate with neighbours, including:

  • Community consultations to co-develop a vision for the property that fits with neighbourhood values. For the next meeting date visit CoolAid.org/tallyho.
  • Letter drops to nearby neighbours.
  • Communication with the Burnside Gorge Community Association and its Land Use Committee.
  • Stories in the mass media.
  • Cool Aid’s social media channels, which can be found at CoolAid.org/social.


If I have any questions or concerns who should I contact?

Once operations are up and running at the Tally Ho we will provide a 24/7 contact number for on-site staff.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, please feel free to contact:

John Sherratt, Manager, Supportive Housing (Tally Ho, Cedar Grove, Mount Edwards), 250-383-1977 or jsherratt@CoolAid.org

Don McTavish, Director of Residential Services, 250-383-1977 or dmctavish@CoolAid.org

or Kathy Stinson, CEO, 250-383-1977 or kstinson@CoolAid.org

You can also contact Don McTavish if you would like a tour of the Tally Ho or any of our supportive housing buildings.

 

Learn more about Cool Aid at www.CoolAid.org and the Tally Ho at www.CoolAid.org/tallyho.