LETTER: No reason for supportive housing to be downtown

In response to Let housing professionals do their job by Eleanor Thompson (The NEWS, Letters, May 3):

It is not required for the facility to be downtown as it is not essential to access services or jobs to live in supportive housing or shelter. There is no plan or measure to transition people through this housing and better their lives. This is permanent housing along with a crisis shelter.

Some may improve their lives and that could be true regardless of where it would be located. The changes will be with the desire and efforts of the individual. I don’t believe transportation is anywhere in the needs assessment of supportive housing. Location is not why people are homeless.

Locating this building downtown ensures our community is continually exposed to the struggles that occur, which Island Crisis Care Society explains in their annual report as dealing with gang mentality and destructive behaviour. This project will have two, 24/7 staff with more than 50 hard-to-house individuals. This building will not improve the lives of those who live nearby or who visit the downtown.

It’s not helpful to hear people being called naysayers or fear mongers for speaking about concerns they have for the community we live in. We should be asking questions and getting answers before making decisions and moving forward.

Who will be responsible for people who are too difficult to house for this project? Where will the illicit drug trade take place with this building downtown? How will it impact our tourism, medical system, and police force?

These are important questions and it takes maturity to talk about the difficulties that we don’t like to face but it’s prudent we have these discussions before we make decisions. Downtown Parksville is the wrong location.

Adam Fras


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