I would like to commend the District of Hope town council and their recent decision to turn down the zoning bylaw that would allow a 52-bed supportive housing unit to be built and operated within the District of Hope. I am sure this was a tough decision for all of them, but based on the information provided and lack of defined plans and processes being put in place by BC Housing, they, in my opinion, made the best decision.
The people who are opposed to this project are not cold-hearted unfeeling individuals, in fact most acknowledge there is a homelessness problem in Hope. The issue is with the facility allowing and enabling drug use.
If we are going to try and tackle the homelessness problem, lets start with the many seniors living in hotels and shared accommodation arrangements, or the single parents and young people living in RVs, travel trailers, and vehicles.
The councillors looked at the lack of support services, policing and healthcare required to operate such a facility. There is simply not the supports available, if there were the addicts already here would be getting the help they need. At this time in Hope when we are all struggling to see doctors, get healthcare, and protect our own properties and businesses, we cannot stretch our resources any further and the council acted appropriately in recognizing this.
There is more to this project than ‘housing the homeless’, and I believe the town council used their due diligence to make the best decision for the entire community of Hope.