Sheltering in Parks
Sheltering in Fairfield Gonzales parks
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health directive to “shelter in place” people experiencing homelessness can shelter in City parks (with a few exceptions) while following some basic rules.
The FGCA is aware that our neighbourhood parks will be hosting more unhoused people in the coming weeks and months as many people and families are facing housing insecurity due to the pandemic.
We are taking a solution-focused approach to working with both housed and unhoused people in our neighbourhood to make sure we all get through this season as safely and comfortably as we can. If you have time and wish to volunteer to contribute to this work, ideas for solutions to specific issues, or items to donate such as tarps and totes, please get in touch with Virginie at firstname.lastname@example.org .
FGCA has also been working through the Victoria Community Association Network to address housing and homelessness with government. See a letter from VCAN here.
Resources and info on sheltering in parks:
The 7am-7pm bylaw which required unhoused individuals to pack up during the day has been relaxed, and at this time shelters can remain up during the day. These are the rules outlined on the City of Victoria webpage for sheltering in City parks.
- Sheltering is not permitted in environmentally sensitive areas, playgrounds, sports fields, flower beds, cemeteries, footpaths, and roads within a park
- No fires, open flames or flammable gas canisters are permitted
- Do not attach shelters to trees or shrubs, park benches, lamp posts or other structures
- Do not remove tree branches or use City property to construct shelters
- Keep your shelter site clean and properly dispose of all garbage
- Be more than four metres (12 feet) away from another occupied tent or structure
- updated: October 1, 2020: Handout outlining new bylaws, services, and parks where sheltering is permitted.
Overnight sheltering is currently not permitted in the following Fairfield Gonzales parks:
- Moss Rocks Park
- Robert Porter Park
If you are concerned about an activity in a park, please contact the appropriate department or organization from the list below.
- City of Victoria: Bylaw Services
- To report a bylaw violation or submit a service request (parks, sidewalks, etc) you can use the online reporting toolon the City of Victoria website
- Contact Manager of Bylaw Services: Shannon Perkins at email@example.com or 250-361-0215
- City of Victoria: Parks Department
- To request maintenance or clean-up in a park (garbage, needles, etc), contact the City of Victoria Parks Office at firstname.lastname@example.org 250-361-0600
- Email Director of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities: Thomas Soulliere at email@example.com
- Request a needle pick up from SOLID Outreachby calling 250-298-9497.
- City of Victoria: Public Works
- To request removal of items that have been illegally dumped by contact Public Works at 250-361-0400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Victoria Police
- To report a crime in progressor an immediate threat to safety: CALL 911
- To report a crime or traffic complaint after it has occurred, you can use the online reporting tool
- Or, you can call VicPD’s non-emergency line at 250-995-7654
- Contact Community Resource Officer: Mark Jenkins at 250-888-6491
- VIHA Encampment Outreach Team
- To request support from the VIHA Outreach team which includes a Nurse and a Mental Health Crisis Response Counsellor between 8am-8pm call the outreach phone number: 250-216-9119
- Provides on site medical assistance, COVID tests, flu shots (when available), mental health and crisis intervention and support, assistance filling out BC Housing forms.
- City of Victoria: Mayor and Council