I am writing about the proposed Moira House shelter on Kingston Avenue in North Kamloops.
I find it disheartening that when residents of neighbourhoods make a stand and oppose such projects in their backyards, that they are accused of NIMBYism (not in my backyard).
If everyone was honest, including those making the accusations and doing the finger-pointing, they would acknowledge it is not appropriate to construct these shelters in or near any residential areas.
This is due to the instability and unpredictability of the shelter users, many of whom have addiction and/or mental-health issues. Many are not safe or ready to be integrated into communities.
I am all for solving the homelessness issue, but it needs to be done in a thought out and structured manner, not by grabbing the most convenient and affordable piece of city-owned property adjacent to multiple suburban neighbourhoods and constructing a “temporary” five-year shelter.
These shelters need to be consolidated into one area away from residential neighbourhoods.
I am sure such locations — like the shelter on Mission Flats Road — would meet little to no resistance from the taxpaying community.
Provide that one area with all required services (counselling, rehabilitation, medical, food services, laundry and housekeeping) for efficiency and have the facility users maintain the property and operate some of the services.
This would streamline operating costs, give shelter users a feeling of purpose and teach them some practical trade skills that may one day turn into future careers.