Okanagan group offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

Downtown Vernon Association agrees proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) is joining those who wish to inform Interior Health that a proposed overdose prevention site (OPS) in Vernon does not belong downtown.

The DVA, along with other community stakeholders, recently had the opportunity to provide feedback, input suggestions and to directly communicate its Business Improvement Area member (BIA) concerns to Interior Health (IHA) regarding the implementation of an overdose prevention site in Vernon.

The DVA summarized its suggestions and concerns to IHA with a request that the following be genuinely considered during the selection of a third-party service provider and the operation of an OPS:

RELATED: Vernon politicians not all happy about possible OD prevention site

1. That the OPS site not be located within the BIAs. That this medical service is best provided and situated within or near the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“Our understanding of the opioid crisis is that this crisis is a medical crisis, and as such, the most logical location for medical service to address the crisis is at or near a medical facility,” said Susan Lehman, DVA executive director. “The hospital is located within a 10-minute walk of the edge of Vernon’s secondary BIA, where current emergency shelter services currently exist;

2. That should the OPS site be located within the BIAs, that there is a consistent and regular feedback mechanism in place for neighbouring businesses and properties to communicate with the service provider;

3. That the service provider be held to a three-to-six month contract performance review to assure the community that the site is being operated in accordance with the original proposed operational standards;

4. That if additional security measures are required for the safety and security of the surrounding businesses or public spaces, that appropriate measures are immediately taken and that the cost of these measures be that of either IHA or the service provider.

“While the limited studies have not shown an increase in crime statistics (as noted at the May 13 regular Vernon council meeting), we do anticipate that there will be an increase in street-level disorder around a drug-use facility,” said Lehman. “An increase in street-level disorder is quite simply an unacceptable demand to be placed on a business community, at this time, when most businesses and property owners are already doing their utmost best to co-exist within the social constructs that make up a downtown business community.”

RELATED: Vernon chamber members do not want overdose prevention site downtown

Lehman said the DVA is very proud of the level of compassion that most of its business community consistently demonstrates, and has throughout the DVA’s 52 years, to lesser-advantaged and often marginalized groups in Vernon.

“Many of our members donate or provide resources through time, money, stewardship, and/or resources and have a sincere interest in improving the health of our community and their neighbours,” she said. “Our suggestions to IHA are not made lightly nor without tremendous compassion and concern for Vernon’s citizens at-risk. The DVA recognizes that current social issues, including the opioid crisis, can be difficult subjects to discuss. However, we remain committed to working with our community stakeholders in continued conversation, respect of each others ideas or suggestions, and continued advocacy on behalf of DVA members.”

The DVA represents more than 600 commercial property owners and business owners within the Business Improvement Areas of Vernon (downtown) and all are within a 50+ block radius.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

West Kelowna won’t get an urgent care centre says health minister

Adrian Dix says other options are being considered to improve health services on Westside

Climate protesters temporarily shut down Bernard Avenue in Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Climate change hot topic at election forum in Kelowna

Just seven of the 12 candidates in Kelowna’s two ridings were present for the forum

Climate change rally held outside Kelowna City Hall

People protested outside Kelowna City Hall today to demand more action on climate change

Loaded shotgun found in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in South Okanagan business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in South Okanagan carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Most Read