Blind reply of chairperson shows nearsighted approach

With what your shelter has caused here, with your full knowledge, you should be ashamed.

Blind reply of chairperson shows nearsighted approach

The reply in this paper from the Chairperson Cathy Schmidt [of Canadian Mental Health Association-Cowichan branch] shows the mentality of this organization. The items spoken about are all about money and funding and personnel problems with rules inside the shelter. Well I agree from information that this inquiry was totally on this groups operational workings, but it failed out community completely!

We are plagued with crime, our residents have been assaulted, and we cannot enjoy our properties, for anything not tied down is stolen. We cannot walk on this street to go to anyplace in town to get necessities for the people on the street.

Seniors comprise the majority of the 800 families in this area and are terrified to go out. At night our parking areas are invaded by the people waiting on the street for entrance to Warmland or its benefits. They break into cars, sleep in our flower beds, and apartment buildings have had to remove or shut off outside electrical plugs for these are used to recharge these peoples phones and laptops and pads. Our landlords now have to remove all landscaping around our buildings so the street people cannot hide there, and they will raise our rents to cover this and the installation of security systems and people to protect us.

The blind, one-sided approach and response from this shelter and its board president show the forest blocking their tunnel vision. I defy anyone at this shelter to tell me they are unaware of this problem they are responsible for by their operation.

Not unlike the past two years this shelter and its management have turned a blind eye to what they have created outside their gates. They ignore town bylaws and do not, by appearance, co-operate with the many attempts of the Municipality of North Cowichan, the bylaw people or police to correct this danger on our streets. It seems they only reply to internal matters.

Well Ms. Schmidt when you cast a stone in the pond, you are responsible for the splash affect!

If you wish as you say to “reach out to the community” then take off the blinders and lose the politics and look seriously at what you created for the people living here. You have more than internal problems. Yes, you may say the pandemic caused this but it did not — this situation existed long before the pandemic. The pandemic created its own additional problems with your staff not following the rules set out by the government when dealing with people.

I would suggest if you wish to help, find alternate locations for your extra programs and help clean up the neighbourhood you are responsible for destroying.

As an organization your responsibility is more than internal matters, you must be a responsible member of the community, and with what your shelter has caused here, with your full knowledge, you should be ashamed.

Larry Woodruff

North Cowichan

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