The City of Victoria has agreed to provide $45,000 to the Quadra Village Community Centre to continue its housing outreach program beyond October.
The program, which delivers housing outreach services in order to prevent homelessness, was launched in 2021 with a $60,000 city grant, which is already paying dividends, Coun. Ben Isitt said.
Isitt, who put forward the motion for a new round of funding to extend the program, said about 30 people were saved from homelessness over the past year.
He said it’s not a solution to a problem only affordable housing can solve, but it is helping.
Hundreds of people have been helped by paid outreach workers to get on housing waiting lists and reconcile with landlords to avoid eviction, Isitt said.
“If these funds aren’t approved, my understanding is those employees would have to be laid off because there is no ongoing funding source,” he said.
Coun. Sarah Potts said the money would be well spent given the track record of the organization.
“Thirty-two people were prevented from losing their housing,” she said, noting there’s no way $45,000 could ever be able to house 32 people. “It’s a huge contribution to the health and well-being of our community.”
Coun. Marianne Alto agreed, saying it’s an example of how the community association centres are working together to produce opportunities and programs to support the most vulnerable.
The centre also expects a donation of $30,000 this year from the Victoria Foundation.
The Quadra Village Community Centre intends to convince B.C. Housing to fund an expanded version of the project and to annually decrease the amount of the City of Victoria’s contribution.