Most of us take showering for granted. At Our Place, four shower stalls are available to those who don’t otherwise have access to the physical, mental, and social benefits of a shower. A good hot shower can clear the mind as well as the body, and the showers are kept spotless by OPS staff and volunteers, who clean them after each and every use. We provide shampoo, conditioner, shaving equipment and towels so our family members can spend uninterrupted time helping themselves feel refreshed. The hygiene area is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Along with pastoral care volunteers and our skilled outreach workers, we also offer one-on-one Psychotherapy appointments, Grief and Loss counselling and a full-time Mental Health and Addiction Clinician.
Staying healthy while living on the street is hard at the best of times. Through our acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic services that are all offered once per week, our volunteer health professionals’ aim to reduce anxiety, stress, and pain.
“Spiritual support is being there to listen and share,” says Chaplain Julianne Kasmer. “People need, and want, to be heard at a heart level.”
To help meet the spiritual needs of our family members, Our Place offers First Nations Programs, Grief & Loss Support Group , Multi-Faith Chapel, Pastoral Care, Weddings & Memorials, Psychotherapy, Bible Study, and Decolonization Circle.
Vets for Pets
For those who have lost everything, a pet can be the very reason for living. Once per month, Our Place family members can access free veterinary services in our courtyard on the second Sunday of each month. Vets for Pets offers free veterinary care to the dogs and cats of homeless and low-income pet owners of the Victoria area. Please register at 11:00am at Our Place Society at 919 Pandora Avenue. Pets are seen in our courtyard starting at 2:00pm. With local veterinarian Jane Vermeulen donating her services, the Vets for Pets program has helped hundreds of animals.
Many of our family members spend a lot of time outdoors, often without socks and usually with shoes that don’t fit well. Serious foot problems are a common occurrence. When available, family members are invited to the hygiene area, where nursing and medical students from the University of Victoria provide much needed Feet Hygiene.
In co-operation with the Camosun College Dental Hygiene program, dental hygiene students provide health advocacy, technology, science, psychology and direct patient care to the Our Place family.