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LETTER – Piecemeal social services are not a long-term solution downtown

To Mayor, City Council & CAO David Trawin,

From Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association Board of Directors:

The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA) is dedicated to a vibrant and livable Downtown that is the focal point of Kamloops. We provide value to our members through advocacy, beautification, promotion, development and preservation of Downtown Kamloops.

We are happy that the Stuart Wood shelter is getting homeless people off the street at night and giving them a place to sleep. However, we currently have concerns about the concentration of social services and the detrimental effects that is having on our businesses.

In addition to Emerald House, the Mission, CMHA Clubhouse, Supervised Consumption Services and Overdose Prevention site; we now have “Out of the Cold Shelter” at the St. Paul’s Cathedral Church; Cold Weather Shelter at Stuart Wood housing up to 70 people each night; and soon, a Storage Services for homeless at 1st and Lansdowne. The Stuart Wood Shelter patrons leave the facility at 7-7:30 am and the influx is felt immediately in the Downtown core. We are very concerned that this idea was put in place without consultation with the BIA and that no extra services have been provided when the shelter closes each morning.

The Police, CAP Team and businesses have felt the impact on the street and in private parking areas. In addition, the SCS RV has been parked at Crossroads, not moving to the Northshore when the roads are snowy. Neighbourhood safety is a concern; including vandalism, B&E’s and child safety.

The Northshore JUMP Drop-in Centre has been transporting homeless from the Northshore to Downtown to access the Cold Weather Shelter. There is no shelter available on the Northshore and there should be.

This concentration is not good urban planning. The KCBIA respectfully requests consultation with the BIA on any future changes or additional services in the Downtown core. In the meantime, these issues need to be managed through Bylaw, IHA Staff and police presence downtown. Also, let’s find other ways to give the patrons somewhere to go during the day besides the streets. We don’t believe that piece meal services are a long term solution; we must have housing and services to get the homeless/site users off the streets permanently.

GAY POOLER
General Manager,
On behalf of the KCBIA Board of Directors

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About Mel Rothenburger (5151 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on LETTER – Piecemeal social services are not a long-term solution downtown

  1. This is a very (sort of) funny letter…
    Off course the City cannot provide any long term solutions to the overwhelming amount of social problems hereditary of a certain political landscape which for the last 16 years has pretty much neglected the “social” files (note the plural here) province-wide. And let’s be honest here, they did it with the overwhelming support of the membership of organizations like the KCBIA.
    Honest businesspeople like myself and all of my customers are concerned about the very things Ms. Pooler mentioned in her letter and we all are victims in a myriad of ways too, directly and indirectly.
    The government we just had, should’ve done more, much more than touting the low income taxes BS.
    The seed of despair were sown…now is harvest time. Don’t like the crop? I sure don’t but they didn’t listen…are Mr. Stone, Lake, Milobar and the ilk available for a Q&A moment?

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