Cool Aid creates opportunities for people who are homeless or living in poverty.

Discover how we’re building homes, enriching lives and enhancing community quality of life in Greater Victoria.
CLICK on a photo below to see more services!

Building Homes

Beginning in 1991, with the opening of Swift House, the first supportive housing apartment building in British Columbia, and continuing today with 15 buildings containing 472 apartments of supported, affordable and transitional housing, each new development brings Cool Aid closer to realizing its long-term vision of ending homelessness. Cool Aid currently supports about 480 tenants in our various residences, listed below, and in transitional apartments at Rock Bay Landing and Next Steps. Another 166 apartments are currently under development.

  Shelters Cool Aid has over 125 residents in its three permanent shelters:

  • Rock Bay Landing emergency shelter and transitional housing
  • Sandy Merriman House is an Emergency Shelter for Homeless and at risk women. We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female”, it encompasses cis and trans women and non-binary people.  We have 25 beds, plus 4 more for emergency referrals.  In addition to the shelter program we operate a daytime drop-in program.
  • Next Steps Transitional Shelter and
  • many others in seasonal shelters.

These shelters all provide food, beds, hygiene services and additional supports such as mental health services, help in finding housing, community liaison, and crisis and life skills counselling. Each shelter is designed to meet unique, varying needs.   Ending Homelessness With your help, the Victoria Cool Aid Society and Coalition to End Homelessness’ mission is to end homelessness in the region.   Let us know how we’re doing. We welcome your suggestions, compliments and complaints.

Building Lives

Health and Dental Through an innovative, team-based approach, services at the Community Health Centre are designed to reduce the significant barriers that can affect basic access to health services. REES Mental Health & Employment Started in 1999 by and for people living with mental illness, REES’ approach is based on the idea that people with mental illness and addictions can make important contributions to the system that supports them. REES encompasses the following programs:

Food Food is something most of us are lucky enough to take for granted, even when grocery prices go up and stretch our pocketbooks as they have in the last few years. Although food is a basic human right, many people go hungry – even in Victoria.   Let us know how we’re doing. We welcome your suggestions, compliments and complaints.

Building Community

Downtown Community Centre Cool Aid’s Downtown Community Centre focuses on healthy living, health promotion and social diversity. The Downtown Community Centre provides free, healthy, recreation and life skill programs for adults and youth living and working in the downtown core with a special focus on helping people who are homeless, street involved and at risk. As well, free use of drop-in computers, a $6/month voicemail service and facility rentals (gym, courtyard, kitchen and foyer) are available. Casual Labour Pool Cool Aid’s Casual Labour Pool is a free service that matches employers with workers looking for short term, casual positions. Thrift Store Beacon Community Services, in partnership with the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s REES Program, has opened an exciting new Thrift Shop. Online Resource Guide A searchable, online database of services available throughout the Capital Region to help people living with mental health and addiction challenges.   Let us know how we’re doing. We welcome your suggestions, compliments and complaints.