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.
A year later, 18 individuals had been helped to find permanent housing who were living at Mount Edwards.
Cool Aid has applied to the City of Victoria for new zoning to allow for two floors of supportive housing for residents 50+ years of age with low-to-moderate support needs, and one floor of affordable rental housing for residents 50+ years of age. The public will have an additional opportunity for community feedback when the City of Victoria holds a public hearing. Already, two public information and feedback sessions have been held about the proposal.
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.
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 feel 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: