Letter: Kelowna council not dealing with safety concerns of public

“Our concerns with the same problem have been ridiculed by the stakeholders.”

To the editor:

Regarding the homeless project at 2025 Agassiz Road.

City council recently increased security at city hall. It is concerned about one incident concerning a homeless person, that this could become an issue for their safety. Understandable, they should be protected.

However, it has no issue with placing 50 homeless in our neighbourhood. Our concerns with the same problem have been ridiculed by the stakeholders. Such hypocrisy.

The opinions of the seniors/taxpayers affected by this project are being totally ignored. Any suggestions for a compromise are just brushed aside. We have been called heartless, nimby and basically not intelligent or caring enough to understand the need.

Most people in the area fully support assisting the homeless with temporary housing until they can receive treatment. We are told that this facility is not a temporary residence but will be their permanent home. The primary reasons for their homelessness seem to be drug addiction, alcohol addiction, mental illness or a criminal record.

At least 50 will be permanently living within one block of most of us.

The facility will be a “wet” one. This means that the new residents will be allowed to continue using their choice of drugs and alcohol. Obviously, with a group of drug users moving here this will encourage drug dealers to have easy access to multiple customers.

We are expected to welcome this in our community.

After overpaying by $1 million for the land, they must justify moving ahead instead of using this property for a better neighbourhood fit.

We have suggested a Women’s Shelter, low-cost senior apartments or transition house, none of these are “wet” facilities.

Our concerns about safety while walking to shopping, medical appointments or movies or simply walking our dogs have been ridiculed, not even an issue.

One homeless person’s inappropriate act in council chambers is definitely a safety concern, 50 homeless people moving to our community is apparently not an issue. Why?

Other neighbourhoods should take note, something like this could be planned near you, but your views, concerns and suggested compromises may be completely dismissed.

Joanna Blacklock

Kelowna

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