On February 23, 2016, Victoria Cool Aid Society started operating the BC Housing-owned Mount Edwards Court to provide transitional housing and support services for 38 people; most of whom were homeless and living at the nearby tent city. Mount Edwards is located at 1002 Vancouver Street, at the corner of Rockland.
The City of Victoria has granted a rezoning for the property to allow for an additional floor of 40 supportive housing apartments for residents 55+ years of age with low-to-moderate support needs, and one floor of 15 affordable apartments for residents 55+ years of age.
Here are some of the services Cool Aid is providing for the residents and neighbourhood:
- Cool Aid has an operating agreement with BC Housing to provide transitional housing and supports for 38 people on the main floor.
- Meals are provided every day for our residents.
- Health supports are on-site weekly. Addiction and recovery supports are provided.
- Life skills programming include financial and budgeting education.
- Cool Aid has created a “clean and safe” team to help keep the neighbourhood clean and tidy. These teams pick up litter in the area near Mount Edwards Court.
- Professional staff assist residents with goal setting and case planning, including assistance with locating permanent housing.
With the opening of 52 supportive housing apartments at the former Tally Ho in March 2018, a handful of residents have moved there from Mount Edwards, freeing up much needed homes for seniors with low to moderate needs who are experiencing homelessness in our community.
Construction continues at Mount Edwards as we develop the second floor, third floor and commercial kitchen. We are anticipating completion of the second floor renovations during the second quarter of 2018/19. At that time, we will be able to offer 40 additional rooms of supported seniors housing as well as begin to use our commercial kitchen to provide fresh, nutritious meals to our residents (rather than catering from our central kitchen hub at Rock Bay Landing). Once the on-site kitchen is up and running, interested residents will be able to assist our cook, learning some basic, marketable skills.
Renovations to the third floor are also underway to provide 15 units of affordable seniors housing. We anticipate completion of this work to occur during the third quarter of 2018. Cosmetic and safety updates to the building’s exterior, in keeping with its heritage character, as well as landscaping, will be undertaken.
We continue to have regular communication with our nearest neighbour, Christ Church Cathedral School and we welcome all neighbours to call us if they have any concerns; or just drop by for a visit. Our 24/7 phone number is: 778-265-3456. John Sherratt, the Manager, Supportive Housing responsible for Mount Edwards also welcomes you to contact him by email: jsherratt@CoolAid.org or phone: 250-213-3865.
Three Cool Aid Staff are on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who can be reached anytime at 778-265-3456 or in person by going up to the building and pressing the doorbell. An additional full-time Client Support Worker, helps clients find housing, health supports, employment, etc.
There is secure access to the building with visitor/guest controls. The front entrance is on Vancouver Street and access is controlled by staff. Likewise, the accessible entrance for those with mobility challenges is on Rockland; with access also controlled by staff.
Support for Mount Edwards Court
Our funding partner is the Province of BC (BC Housing). The City of Victoria provides a property tax exemption for the supportive housing.
Many neighbours support Cool Aid’s efforts to provide solutions to homelessness through the provision of housing and support services including:
- Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
- Downtown Residents Association
- Downtown Victoria Business Association
- Pedal Pusher Daycare
Frequently Asked Questions
You may also be interested in reading some research about Cool Aid’s programs and philosophy and why “housing first” and “harm reduction” are considered best practice in the sector.
See below for additional contact information.
Speak with the staff of Mount Edwards Court 24 hours any day at 778-265-3456 or contact the building coordinator John Sherratt by email at jsherratt@CoolAid.org.
If you have a suggestion, compliment or complaint, in addition to speaking with our staff on site, you can also fill out a form. A response will be given to you if you provide contact information.
To arrange a tour with Cool Aid and see for yourself what Cool Aid supportive housing looks like please contact: Alan Rycroft, arycroft@CoolAid.org, 250-414-4781.
If you are unable to get the answers you need, please feel free to contact a member of Cool Aid’s senior management team: