York Road not the place for new Wellness Centre

I am very concerned about the relocation of the overdose prevention site

York Road not the place for new Wellness Centre

Re: Wellness and Recovery Centre announced April 3, 2020 by Island Health for addictions and mental health, located at 5878 York Rd., Duncan, B.C.

I am very concerned about the relocation of the overdose prevention site currently on Trunk Road, to 5878 York Rd. This is directly across York Road from Kiw Wah Chinese Restaurant, the Phoenix Wellness Centre (a methadone treatment site), Creative Quilting, and an ambulance centre. Lewis Street joins York Road right at this location, and it has Warmland Homeless Shelter on it.

Quamichan Middle School is right beside Alexander Elementary School [nearby, on Beverly Street].

I drive past this area almost every day and the number of homeless people encamped on York Road/Beverly Street around the traffic circle area and on the sidewalks of York Road and Lewis Street is becoming intolerable. Twice this past week I have had to quickly put on my brakes to avoid a couple of men staggering in the street. There are tents huddled upl on the sidewalk against the Phoenix Wellness Centre. Both the Cowichan Valley School Board office and Kiw Wah Restaurant have had to erect fences to keep tents and other encampments from locating in their field/parking lot.

All of the above is within one block of two schools and many businesses. If I were a parent of a school-aged child K-12 I would be outraged at the idea of another Wellness and Recovery Centre, i.e., overdose prevention centre to be located on York Street. If I was a parent of a teenager seeking work at McDonald’s or Wendy’s I would be worried sick.

As it is, my husband and I are longtime taxpayers, and can’t believe what is happening in this area. The property owners down Lewis Street must be horrified to see the reduction in property values as well.

Please, can’t somebody do something? At the very least, change the location of the new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. Do not endanger our children or ruin more businesses. Please, can’t those who make this decision about the new location of the overdose prevention site make a walking tour of this area, and see for yourselves what it is really like?

Judy Holmes



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