WATCH: As courthouse campers move to a new provincial housing facility, hundreds of other homeless people have to wait. April Lawrence reports.
The provincial government says as of Wednesday 85 people have moved to the Johnson Street Care Home facility, with the remainder expected to be gone by the end of the week.
It’s a new chapter for campers but for the rest of the city’s homeless there is still nowhere to go.
Kenny Shannon has been sleeping in a doorway for the past three years.
Because he is not an addict and has social anxiety, tent city was not an option.
“I don’t get a long with a lot of the hardcore drug users that use that place,” he said.
So that means the new housing options put forward by the province aren’t an option either.
Kenny has applied for affordable housing but has been on a wait list for the past two and a half years.
He’s been turned down by many other programs because, as he puts it, there isn’t enough wrong with him.
“Because I’m capable mostly of looking after myself for the most part I’ll be at the bottom of the list,” Shannon said.
Homeless advocates say Kenny’s story is all too familiar.
“So those people are forgotten they really are the forgotten homeless because they’re quieter and more laid back and kind of keeping to themselves,” said Our Place Society spokesperson Grant McKenzie.
But there is some hope on the horizon.
The Capital Regional District and B.C. Housing will spend a total of $60 million for a variety of affordable housing options over the next five years.
“To create hopefully up to 367 units of housing so we can start to offer these individuals a choice,” said Don Elliott, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.
It’s a start, but only part of the problem.
As rental prices skyrocket, many would like to see the province raise its welfare shelter rates to match.
“When welfare only covers $375 a month and it’s $800 or more for rent, no wonder there’s people homeless in this town,” said Shannon.
Roughly 1400 people according to a recent homelessness count — including Kenny Shannon, who has no choice but to continue to wait for a place to call home.