I have been following the articles regarding the homeless shelter in Courtenay since I moved here from Nanaimo in March.
I find the decision to reopen the search for a new location merely a way for councillors and members of the Chamber of Commerce to stall the inevitable. Turning a blind eye, or “looking for solutions” on paper is not enough.
First off, the location at Cliffe and 10th would be ideal because although the problem of homelessness is not segregated to the downtown area, this is the area where there are the most supports for those in need, such as the soup kitchen, transition society, AIDS Vancouver Island and Wachiay Friendship Centre.
The Chamber of Commerce had come out against the 10th and Cliffe location, but then stated this was “especially as (they) do not know the nature of the facility that the CVRD had in mind.”
How can you be against something you have no knowledge about?
Perhaps instead of taking part in a vote they ought to have educated themselves on what they are voting on. Have they considered the model of the HOST team in Nanaimo, which turned an old hotel into an outreach centre with resources such as nurses, mental health and addiction workers, ministry workers, computers and counselling.
If this was incorporated into a shelter it would be much more than just a Band-Aid solution, as those who are opposed have implied.
Editor’s note: Desi Player is a fourth-year nursing student at
North Island College.