MEEGAN Community Showers
MEEGAN (Beacon Hill Park)
2020



A group of us built these portable showers for the unhoused community at MEEGAN (Beacon Hill Park), which is host to some 100 campers since the COVID pandemic started. The idea to build showers first came from Tla’amin Matriarch Rose Henry who approached us at the end of the Gitimt’en tiny house build, and told us how campers at MEEGAN were all asking for access to showers, but the city wasn’t providing any resources.


The showers were funded by community donations, and built by a team of a dozen volunteers over two weekends. 
From our fundraising page:


On the unceded and occupied lands of the Lekwungen & W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, there are over a thousand people that are living unhoused in the midst of a global pandemic. There are many reasons why folks are living unhoused, from centuries of colonization, land theft and displacement to speculative housing markets and gentrification. In Victoria, one third of those that are experiencing houselessness are Indigenous, which compounds and feeds into the ongoing and intergenerational trauma caused by Canada. Many of those experiencing houselessness are youth, women, LGBTQI2S+, those who grew up in the foster system, those with disabilities and health concerns.

One of the basic necessities for people to live is access to methods of hygeine. This is of particular importance in a global pandemic, where we know that hand washing and hygeine are ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintain health. The city of Victoria and province of BC have the responsibility to provide basic necessities to all, and particularly to support those facing the brunt of systemic oppressions. These inequities are amplified by the pandemic, which compound on the already existing public health emergency of the drug crisis.

In a city as wealthy as Victoria, it is quite frankly shameful that there is a struggle to meet the basic needs of people.

Round 2 - solar panels, pump, and 800 gallon cistern

After the city shut off our water access we built an off-grid system with solar panels, marine battery, cistern, and an RV pump. We were able to provide hot showers to the community for 5 days before the city impounded our showers, along with a community care tent that provided blankets, warm clothes, and food.

City of Victoria dismantles showers for homeless campers at Beacon Hill Park - CBC
Victoria Shower Struggle: Police Raid Volunteer Effort for Homeless - The Tyee