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New wellness facility in Victoria to provide essential services to community members experiencing homelessness

The Mustard Seed’s wellness centre at 625 Queens Ave. will supply access to showers, laundry, clean clothes, and other support services to people in need in greater Victoria
The Mustard Seed is calling on the community to help establish a new wellness centre in Victoria.

In 2023, 1665 people were counted by the Greater Victoria Point-in-Time homeless report, with nearly two-thirds of the respondents considered chronically homeless and 242 completely unsheltered. 

For people who are experiencing homelessness, access to showers or laundry facilities is a challenge. “Cleanliness and dry clothes become luxuries instead of the necessities we know them to be,” says Colleen Sparks, director of development for The Mustard Seed. “For example, how do you apply for a job and show up for an interview if you don’t have access to a shower and clean clothes?” 

To address this chronic issue, The Mustard Seed is calling on the community to help establish a wellness centre at their facility at 625 Queens Avenue.

The wellness centre will offer an extension of services already offered – including hot meals, social programming, access to clean clothing, hair/foot care, first aid, one-on-one support and other advocacy services. Once construction of the facility is completed, the centre will provide the street-entrenched community with access to two accessible showers, two washers and three dryers.

The purpose-built space will operate six days per week and will provide community members with necessary supplies like shampoo, soap and towels. The wellness centre will support up to 10 people with laundry access per day, and approximately 20 will have access to showers. In total, that accounts for over 3000 people with clean laundry access and over 6000 showers in a year.

To prepare the site for this project, The Mustard Seed is investing in a new HVAC system that transitions heating from an oil furnace to a heat pump. This upgrade to the facility will improve the overall experience of clients, volunteers and staff throughout the building, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and provide the increased ventilation needed to cope with the steam and heat from showers, washers and dryers running continuously.

The wellness centre will offer an extension of services already offered, including access to clean clothing and hot meals. Photo provided by The Mustard Seed

The budget for this project is roughly $500,000. So far, The Mustard Seed has secured $25,000 towards this build from the Greater Victoria Savings & Credit Union Legacy Fund, $5,000 toward the installation of the washers and dryers from the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, and interest from private donors of varying amounts.

The Mustard Seed’s vision is to support greater Victoria in being a compassionate community where the cycles of poverty have been broken and lives restored. In 2023, The Mustard Seed distributed over 2.4 million pounds of food, beverages and hygiene products through the hospitality program and food bank, as well as the 70+ organizations that are part of the Food Share Network. With close to fifty years of experience, the hospitality team knows and has credibility with the local community and is trained to support them.

With key pieces of infrastructure in place, such as the new HVAC system, The Mustard Seed is well placed to undertake this construction over the summer months. “We know the importance of dignity on the path to recovery, and we hope we can count on the continued generosity of individuals and businesses in the greater Victoria region to bring this project to life,” says Sparks.


Go to to donate and to find more information on The Mustard Seed’s work in the greater Victoria community.