Letter: Find a better place for supportive housing in Kelowna

A reader is unhappy with the current location

To the editor:

Another day, and again, another headline about dirty, bloody hypodermic needles found in a friendly family neighbourhood (Abbott Street.)

Studies have shown that HIV can survive in syringes for up to six weeks while Hepatitis C can remain detectable for two months. The virus is more likely to survive when there are lower temperatures, greater volumes of blood, and within larger syringes.

The chances of getting an infection from stepping on one of these needles may be very slim, BUT, it is still there.

With regard to the proposed wet Supportive Housing at 2225 Agassiz Rd. We have asked, many times, how this wet facility is being supplied with the drugs. Just recently we were advised that the government will not be supplying the drugs, which makes us wonder now, where will they get their drugs from.? Are they buying them from dealers on the street? Will the drug dealers be lining up out here in our quiet little neighbour to peddle their drugs???

This supportive housing project is all adding up to a very large expense starting with the price BC Housing spent on the property. Add another $6 or $7 million to build this facility. Granted, no one should be living on the streets, but is this actually going to solve the problem.

READ MORE: Protests outside open house to for supportive housing proposal in Kelowna

Three or four years ago the city built a park behind our building, next to the community gardens. It was lovely and we were able to sit over there and enjoy being out in the fresh air. We had Condo parties over there and we really enjoyed having that park.

THEN the homeless people found it. They moved right in and took over the picnic tables and shady areas and they used the public toilet by the gardens. We felt bad for them. At first, it never took us long to realize that these people were not interested at all in helping themselves, improving their way of life, or turning themselves into respectful citizens. The area started smelling, the public toilet was disgusting and they were stealing from the gardens.

There was a lot of swearing, drinking and pot smoking and pretty soon they started to just use the park as their bathroom and they would throw their excrement over the fence onto our property along with their used bloody dirty needles. They did have a place to go each night and they did have water and a bathroom but they abused it. This past summer they stayed away but we fully expect it will start all over again if our mayor and council give BC Housing permission to go ahead with this project.

NO we do not want this wet facility in our neighborhood. The people of Kelowna should be aware and concerned, as this situation could pop up in your neighborhood. Supportive housing should be placed in area’s that are not all residential. They should be placed where the residents can work at overcoming their addictions in privacy and with dignity. Not in a neighborhood where they will be on display all the time.

Jeri Truman

Kelowna

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