Homeless shelter shocks residents of Vic West in Victoria

Residents shocked by shelter

Residents in Vic West in Victoria were surprised as campers sheltering in Victoria parks began moving into their neighbourhood this week.

CTV News Vancouver Island is reporting the new Russell Street shelter in Vic West is now open and will house up to 60 people in individual pods.

The new shelter is set to provide complete services including meals a safe consumption site, showers, laundry facilities and 24-hour security.

One Vic West resident says the shelter opening was a surprise.

“This is a shock to us still,” said Tony Young, adding that the community is bracing for the worst.

“There are things that are going to happen and there’s probably going to be more criminal activity,” said Young. “Drug use and so forth and we’re concerned about that.”

“Approximately 106 people are waiting to move into shelters on Russell Street, tiny homes and a few other spaces here and there,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

Helps says after recent violent incidents in Victoria parks, getting everyone housed can’t come soon enough.

“When people are not living in parks, it doesn’t attract the kind of violence that can happen,” said Helps. “The inside opportunities can’t come soon enough from everyone’s perspective, including mine.”

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