Alana says she’s been addicted to heroin for over a year after succumbing to depression. She sleeps on Pandora Street in downtown Victoria, outside Our Place Society, a support centre for people experiencing homelessness.

There are “too many people and not enough beds to sleep on” in the shelter, says Alana, who asked that her real name be withheld.

She says she doesn’t stay at local shelters because they’re overflowing with people, bed bugs and head lice.

But on the street, other drug users steal her valuables, defecate in public, and bully her for being kind.