People forced from their homes in an emergency may be directed to group lodging facilities when commercial lodging is either not appropriate or unavailable. Group lodging is a safe place where people can go to:
- Sleep and eat;
- Receive specialized care, including multicultural services and transportation; and
- Obtain health services such as first aid and emotional support.
Identifying appropriate locations for group lodging and operating them in an emergency are an important aspect of your Emergency Social Services (ESS) team responsibilities.
Whether or not group lodging is opened depends on many factors including the size of the emergency, the availability of commercial lodging, and the number of volunteers. Your local ESS Director or Emergency Program Coordinator will decide when and where to open group lodging.
Depending on the emergency and your community’s plan, you could work in a variety of roles at the group lodging facility, including:
- Group Lodging Manager;
- Safety Officer;
- Sleeping Area Supervisor; or
- Meals Distribution Officer.
For detailed information about group lodging, see our ESS Group Lodging Operational Guidelines (PDF).
Group Lodging Training
The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) course Introduction to Group Lodging prepares ESS responders to work in group lodging facilities. Course topics include:
- Group lodging services;
- Roles and responsibilities in a group lodging facility; and
- Group lodging work and set-up.
For more information about emergency social services training, please see the JIBC’s Emergency Social Services web pages.