Letter: Proposed site wrong for new homeless cabins

Can you guarantee the personal safety for the already established residents in the neighbourhood?

Proposed site wrong for new homeless cabins

Dear mayor and council,

I am writing in opposition to the application for a temporary permit to provide a 24 hour shelter for 40 homeless individuals at 610 Trunk Rd. for the following reasons:

1. I am a 79-year-old senior living across the street from this project. The proposal calls for me to have 40 new neighbours, living in individual sleeping huts, eating outdoors in a common area and using 3C-can type containers for toilets and showers. Many of these individuals will have multiple issues including alcoholism, addictions to various drugs and/or mental health problems.

2. I will no longer feel safe in my own neighbourhood. There have been several news reports lately of people being accosted by the homeless in Nanaimo, Victoria and the Lower Mainland.

3. This is a neighbourhood with many senior citizens living very close to this project. Sunridge care home is across the street. There are over 200 seniors living in Sunridge and many have senior relatives who visit. There are many seniors living in the condos and apartments within two or three blocks of this project . You are putting us at risk if you approve this location.

4. If there is no risk then why are the similar and smaller compounds on St. Julian and at the Mound encircled by a industrial type nine foot metal fence? If there is no risk then why is there a need for private security to be hired from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.? Our personal safety is not something to be “mitigated”. It is of primary importance. We have earned the right to expect our council to make decisions that respect the needs and concerns of the already established community.

5. There are children in this area. There is a school bus stop in front of my building. Does this project across the street from a school bus pick up area make the children safer or less safe?

6. Property damage/crime: Already the property damage, vandalism, graffiti, trash, needles and human feces in our neighbourhood have increased from those living on the street. The project has said in their handout, they will have a clean up crew. Several times in the last week I have driven around St. Julian and the Mound. There were shopping carts, drug paraphernalia, and just plain trash strewn about. Spillover from the St. Julian site were sitting in the doorway across the street using shooting up. They made no effort to hide their activity as I drove by. Why would I not expect the same to happen in my neighbourhood?

7. There are many cars parked on Bundock Avenue overnight and the cars belonging to the owners and renters of the condos in the area are also parked outside leaving them vulnerable to theft and damage. Will the city pay my deductible if my car is broken into or damaged?

8. Many of the residents who live on the ground floor in the neighbourhood have expressed concerns about being able to open their sliding glass doors or even their windows during the summer. We are fearful of these 40 new neighbours and the inevitable spillover. How do you plan to mitigate this justifiable fear?

9. Quality of life in my neighbourhood will be affected by our new neighbours. I will not feel safe walking to the stores. I have very little faith in a Good Neighbour Agreement being signed by those with addictions and mental health problems.

10. Can you guarantee that this project will be removed from our neighbourhood September 2022 or will the applicant be permitted to ask for an extension going into a second winter?

In conclusion, can you guarantee the personal safety and protect the quality of life for the already established residents in the neighbourhood? Seniors, who have made this area their permanent retirement home shouldn’t have to feel unsafe and vulnerable.

This project does not need to die. It simply needs to find a more suitable location.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Muriel LaBine