It was a pleasure to represent Oak Bay Council at a fundraiser car wash for “Our Place” on Pandora Ave. Organized by my friend and colleague Vic City Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, I joined with many other local politicians and volunteers to wash cars for a good cause.
I also had a tour of the Our Place facility, one that provides daily programs, services and amenities to about a 1,000 people a day. Not all of them are homeless but they all share a common struggle — poverty. The facility depends largely on private donations but receives a grant of $25,000. annually from the City of Victoria and some funding from BC Housing.
The facility was purpose-built and houses 45 individuals, has showering and eating facilities for hundreds and provides a range of health, counselling and training day programs/services to those in need. As we know, poverty is not confined to municipal boundaries so getting support for Our Place from our 13 municipalities, as well as from senior levels of government, is an ongoing challenge.
You can donate used clothing directly at the facility on Pandora Avenue, between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the main desk. I understand the items that are needed most are underwear and socks, warm clothing such as coats, sweaters and shoes and, of course, general clothing items.
You can also donate your time as a volunteer at the facility. Our Place is also seeking volunteers with professional skills such as resume-writing, employment readiness skills and counselling. If you think that you can help and have the time and skills to share, please call or drop into Our Place to speak with a volunteer coordinator.