Johnson Street Community

844 Johnson Street, Victoria, B.C. • (250) 812-1764 • Total units: 147

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Services & Support
PHS mental health workers, community outreach worker, meal program, peer employment, full industrial kitchen, full-time nurse on-site, primary medical care, supervised consumption site

Partners
BC HousingIsland Health

 

The Johnson Street Community (JSC) provides homes for 147 residents at 844 Johnson in Victoria, B.C. Services and supports for residents include four mental health workers available 24 hours a day, everyday; a full-time on-site manager; two home support workers available Monday through Friday; a primary care clinic that includes a full-time licenced practical nurse and a PHS doctor 16 hours/week.

We also offer multiple peer employment opportunities for residents at JSC. Our chef leads a team that prepares two fresh meals and snacks for residents in both of PHS’ Victoria buildings every day, along with a food pedaller program to deliver fresh meals from JSC to our Douglas Street location daily.

In partnership with Island Health, PHS opened one of three overdose prevention sites (OPS) in Victoria at JSC in December 2016. This was the first such site to be located within housing for the exclusive use of residents. Following approval by Health Canada in December 2017, the OPS was converted into a supervised consumption service (SCS). The embedded service is for residents and registered guests at 844 Johnson Street, to help prevent and reverse overdoses and connect clients with treatment services in Victoria, and is the first SCS to open on Vancouver Island. There have been no overdose deaths at the JSC OPS/SCS since services PHS began offering services in December 2016.

The JSC story

The JSC was established to provide housing for homeless campers that had created a ‘tent city’ survival camp, in an effort to focus attention in Victoria on the homelessness crisis. The camp had been located on the grounds of the Victoria Provincial Court building between approximately November 2015 and August 2016. In the spring of 2016, PHS was contracted by BC Housing to provide support to the campers, including assisting with fire safety and public health concerns, and providing campers with overdose intervention training as well as a community cooking option.

In August 2016, BC Housing announced the purchase of the Johnson Street building (the former Central Care Home), and selected PHS to manage the building, reflecting a reflection of PHS’s decades of experience in creating low-barrier supported housing for marginalized people living in poverty and with substance use and mental health challenges. Residents of JSC are channelling the creative force of their advocacy for the rights of the homeless into the opportunity to create both a home and a community of belonging.