Victoria Mayor's Task Force
After 18 months of research by the 'Mayor's Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addiction and Homelessness' another textbook was released. This 240 page document was officially printed on October 19, 2007 but it was unveiled to the public on November 26 at a church with no media present. The people presenting the document included one of the members of the Mayor's task force who laughed when he stated; "It seems kind of silly but as a result of all our hard work and research we have found that the homeless need homes." This task force has cost approximately $250,000 and bases most of its information on the research completed by the Homeless Needs Survey completed in the spring of 2007, which cost an additional $100,000 with the support of 250 volunteers for a week. No earth has been broken for low income housing in Victoria since 1988.
Mayor Alan Lowe has repeatedly announced that he will provide for the 1500 homeless people in his city by developing housing for them in collaboration with private business along with provincial and federal governments. Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government reportedly is holding $250 million for low income housing which was promised to off set the displacement of the 'poor' by developement for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Meanwhile the 'Emergency Weather Protocal' was off to a very slow start. In fact the first 2 nights of sub-zero weather saw no reaction from City Hall. Some shelters opened anyway but the promise from city hall to open space for people to sleep was broken. Eventually the 'Protocal' was inplimented so that several concrete floors are now open for the homeless to sleep on but the fact remains that there is only room for 350 people of the 1500 counted by the city as homeless. City police have been moving everyone along at 6am while drop in centers are not legally allowed to open until 8am in accordance with city bylaws.