Salt Spring Island homeless shelter to stay open year-round
The Salt Spring Island Community Services sign is pictured at 268 Fulford-Ganges Road. (Google Maps)
Salt Spring Island's overnight homeless shelter is set to remain open year-round, according to BC Housing.
The overnight shelter, which regularly fills to capacity, was previously only open during the winter from Nov. 1 to March 31.
Starting this November, however, the shelter will be open 365 days a year from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., with staff remaining on-site in the morning to help connect shelter users with community resources.
"People experiencing homelessness on Salt Spring deserve to have a safe, warm place to go year round,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a news release on Thursday. "We are so thankful for our community partners on the island who are working with us to deliver the services people need."
The Salt Spring Island Community Services (SSICS) shelter offers 30 overnight beds, access to laundry, shower facilities and two meals a day for each guest. The province believes that by remaining open year-round, staff at the shelter will be able to form stronger relationships with shelter users and be in a better position to help people move into more permanent housing and access community resources.
To cover the added costs of operating year-round, the province is providing the shelter with approximately $720,000.
"Housing challenges experiences in communities across British Columbia are magnified on the Southern Gulf Islands," said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. "I’m thrilled that the government has responded to the calls from Salt Spring Island to expand shelter services."
The Salt Spring Island Community Services shelter can be found at 268 Fulford-Ganges Road.