Cool Aid Condemns Vandalism Against Mayor Fortin and Family

November 5, 2010 – Media Advisory – The Victoria Cool Aid Society unequivocally condemns today’s misguided attack against the car and home of Mayor Dean Fortin and his family. Mayor Dean Fortin is one of the best friends of people in our community who are homeless and poor.

The self-described “militant” protesters have personally attacked the Mayor who has done more than any other municipal politician to provide housing and shelter to those in our community who deserve this basic human right.

Cool Aid calls on the caring community of citizens in Victoria to support Mayor Dean Fortin, the City of Victoria and others who are working hard to build new housing and temporary shelter and to continue to work to end homelessness in the Capital Region. We ask citizens not to lose faith because of the misguided actions of a few.

Although 85 temporary shelter beds have been lost in the last week, there is in fact a significant increase of permanent services available in our community as of November 1. As well an additional 80 units of permanent supported housing will be available early in the new year thanks to the Province, BC Housing, the Capital Regional Hospital District and the City of Victoria  – all partners in the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.

Rock Bay Landing – Net increase of 4 permanent shelter beds, 23 modest transitional apartments and 2 units of family shelter. New service capacity = +32 sheltered and housed (assuming 5 people in the 2 family units).

Queens Manor – Net increase of 36 supportive housing apartments available for adults, couples and people with pets. Assuming 20% occupancy by couples, capacity = +43

Extreme Weather Protocol – Additional capacity of 165 temporary mats during very cold and wet weather. For details visit www.vewp.net.

Divine Shelter – Loss of 40 temporarily funded shelter mats.

Salvation Army – Loss of 30 temporarily funded shelter mats.

Streetlink Shelter – Loss of 15 temporarily funded shelter beds.

Altogether 59 units of housing (Rock Bay Landing and Queens Manor) plus 6 shelter beds (new permanent and family beds) are a significant improvement on the 70 temporary mats at Divine Shelter and the Salvation Army and 15 beds at Streetlink which have closed down except during extreme weather conditions. These permanent additions to house people who have been homeless in our community will accommodate 75 people*, including couples and families.

Additionally, up to 165 temporary shelter mats are available and funded in our community for the worst weather of the season through the Victoria Extreme Weather Protocol coalition.

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Information:               www.CoolAid.org         www.vewp.net 

Kathy Stinson, Executive Director
250-383-1977

* 59 apartments + 4 permanent shelter beds + 5 people in two family shelter units + 7 couples at Queens Manor


Downtown Service Providers Condemn Vandalism Against Mayor & Family

November 5, 2010 – Victoria – The Downtown Service Providers unanimously and unequivocally condemn today’s vandalism attack against Mayor Dean Fortin and his family.

The disturbing acts of the few self-described “militant” protesters are based on misinformation and have the potential to damage the work of everyone in the community working together to end homelessness.

The “militants” claim 72 shelter mats on the floor have been lost.

In fact, a net of 153 mats are gained whenever the Extreme Weather Protocol is in effect, during the worst of winter weather.

60 temporary mats on the floor have been permanently replaced by much better supportive housing and staffed shelter beds.

On days when the Protocol is not in effect, a net of 12 mats have been lost.

Additionally, 80 units of permanent supportive housing will also be available early in the new year thanks to the Province, BC Housing, the Capital Regional Hospital District, the City of Victoria, Pacifica Housing and Victoria Cool Aid Society  – all partners in the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.

The Downtown Service Providers ask that citizens support Mayor Dean Fortin, the City of Victoria, other levels of government and non-profit organizations who are working together to end homelessness. We must not be distracted in our important work because of the misguided actions of a few.

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Information:

Rev. Al Tysick, Chair
250-388-7112