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Published on May 2, 2011
2010/11 Premier's Awards Regional Finalist -- Vancouver Island Category: Partnership
The tent city on Pandora Avenue in Victoria became a crisis situation in 2010, with drug deals, drug usage, prostitution, violent behaviour and unsanitary conditions taking place in front of neighbouring residents, businesses, churches and an elementary school.
When a city bylaw was proposed to end camping on the boulevard, the Ministry of Social Development's Victoria Homelessness Intervention Program team recognized the need for a coordinated approach to house the tent city residents.
The program worked with nine partners from the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness -- the Vancouver Island Health Authority, VicPD, BC Housing, City of Victoria, Pacifica Housing, Streets to Homes, Our Place, Cool Aid and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre -- to identify and house 62 regular campers in a short period of time.
In addition to establishing a process to help those most difficult to house, this project restored a sense of community in the neighbourhood.