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LETTER - Empty Courtenay car lot would be ideal spot to serve the homeless


Dear editor,

I think the city should move the Connect Centre to the dealership building thats been left empty behind the 7-Eleven.

The building could provide the same services as the Connect and behind could allow for a tent community to form but to be only used at night. I thought a good idea to close it off could be to provide advertising on the fence so that inside could be closed off while still allowing support for the centre using those same advertisements.

The location is more secluded, and would keep the homeless removed from business areas, residential areas and parks and playgrounds. The tenting areas could be kept up only if the “residents” follow the rules and respect each other. All the resources offered across the street at the city hall could also be moved and accommodated in that same lot.

It’s a matter of the city taking the initiative and to stop hoping for things to just change. Removing and having the homeless front and centre to such a small downtown is part of what exacerbates the issue. Residents and businesspeople feel stressed and they in turn redirect to the homeless people themselves, who are already dealing with so much.

I know. I am homeless.

I think the move to the other location would make a world of difference for everyone involved. I would even just love for someone to hear the idea and be able to see if it could financially work. It doesn’t have to be full of garbage and dishevelled-looking either, with efforts the space could be transformed to something inspiring for other communities dealing with the same levels of homeless and substance use.

Nicole Rusick,