It was thought by many that the relationship between BC Housing and the cities of B.C./Vancouver Island was a good one as evidenced by the current housing services in the city of Parksville.
This was soundly quashed when the Housing Ministry and BC Housing unilaterally put in place the Housing First initiative into our small city.
It was done without virtually any input from the community as was evidenced by the extremely low turnout to information/discussion meetings. There was no engagement with the community and that should have been a red flag that without that, the project would have pushback. We are proud of our beautiful city and want to continue to be so.
I believe the Corfield Project needs to happen, but not the way it was presented. The lives of the people need to be taken into account, not just warehousing them in a large building, surrounded by a tall fence.
Each person housed there needs help: mentally challenged need help; drug/alcohol addicted people need help; low income people need help; the current model just feels like they are all being scooped up and dumped into a building just to get them off the streets.
A better solution could have been to incorporate a component that diverted funding to existing programs, i.e. mental health and addictions at NRGH and other locations, more staffing/services/space at places like Forward House, etc., or new detox/rehab sites in the outlying areas of Parksville.
This warehousing idea is just wrong for so many reasons and on so many levels.