The conversion from a youth custody centre to a homeless haven is in full swing.
About 50 people, many of them from the tent city at the court building in downtown Victoria, have started to arrive in small numbers each day at the former youth custody centre on Talcott Road in View Royal.
The new tenants at Choices Transitional Home will have the option of staying in new tents erected on the grounds or inside the facility, which opened in 2002 but was closed by the provincial government as a cost-cutting measure in 2015.
A staff of about 34 people that includes kitchen staff, drivers, security and outreach workers will work there, said Grant McKenzie, director of communications for Our Place, which oversees the operation. “People can stay inside or outside, and we are supplying the tents and sleeping gear,” McKenzie said. “People will get three meals a day and have access to hot showers, laundry and the recreation room. We also hope to get people involved in workshop activities.”
About $450,00 in funding was made available through B.C. Housing to operate Choices Transitional Home for a six month period.