Homeless in hotels disaster waiting to happen

Things will turn around and hotels will want to reopen

Homeless in hotels disaster waiting to happen

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and her councillors are proposing to use vacant Victoria hotel rooms to house the homeless.

What a great idea Lisa! Let’s move them all to places like the Empress and the Grande, give them all their own rooms, supply them meals and cleaning services, maybe offer them tea at high noon. I guess we can all assume that the staff who is highly trained and professional are going to be catering to their new tenants, cleaning up the discarded needles, bed bugs and dealing with the unsanitary conditions, vandalism and theft. Look at what’s happening with Paul’s Motor Inn on a smaller scale; this would be 100 times worse.

Things will turn around and hotels will want to reopen, so how are we going to evict them? From past experience we know it takes months to move tent cities to different locations and then deal with the clean up that goes along with it. Can you imagine what a hotel would be like after evicting these people? The rooms would have to be stripped down to the studs and completely fumigated, redo floors, beds, walls and bathrooms. All linens, towels, bedding and carpets all would have to be replaced at a huge cost in the millions of dollars. Who will pay for this? I am sure the owners of the hotels won’t be, it will be us, a taxpayer? How many people are going to want to come to Victoria and stay in the Empress knowing that was a converted shelter and homeless people had been living in these rooms for extended periods?

When things do turn around and we want to get our tourism back, there will be no rooms available in downtown Victoria because they are all under renovation.

Homeless people do need to have a place to live, everyone agrees, but the majority of them are quite content to live in their tent communities because they choose that lifestyle. The city’s focus should be investing in more washroom facilities, wash stations, and security because they aren’t going to self isolate whether they are in a hotel or a tent.

Maybe Mayor Helps should speak to the people of Victoria, hotel staff and stakeholders for their input before she goes to Premier Horgan for his support. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Doug Prenevost

Cowichan Bay


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Mary Lowther column: Growing out your own seeds

Some crops like tomatoes don’t cross pollinate well

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Buyers across the province will soon be able to pick up a… Continue reading

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read