The Burnside Gorge Housing Outreach helps families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to find shelter and/or maintain their housing. We work with single parents, two-parent and extended families, and pregnant women. Outreach workers support families by:
- Responding to immediate physical needs such as housing/shelter, food and warm clothing
- Advocating for families with employment and assistance workers, landlords, hotel managers, and others as required
- Connecting children and parents with existing support services
- Encouraging families to become involved in BGCA community activities and become an active part of their community
There is a housing crisis in Victoria leading to a dramatic increase in the number of families needing support and access to affordable housing. At less than 1%, Victoria’s vacancy rate (rental market) is one of the lowest in the country. According to the CRD Housing Affordability Strategy, rents are increasing at twice the rate of inflation. Individuals with children who have limited incomes are severely affected.
With few immediate shelter options available to them, families are often living in motels during the off season or camping during the tourist season when they initially connect with our outreach workers. They are frequently couch surfing with friends or family, living in vehicles, or staying in transitional housing. Too often, these families have no idea where they will sleep that night. The most common reasons for their lack of housing are fleeing an abusive relationship and/or being unable to find affordable, safe and/or appropriate places to live within the Victoria region.
Here’s a great downloadable PDF on housing options and where to start looking: Download