A new petition from the North False Creek Business and Residents Association is urging the City of Vancouver to dismantle the homeless shelters at 900 Pacific and 1335 Howe Street, claiming they are jeopardizing the safety and integrity of schools, childcare facilities, homes and businesses.
The petition, posted on Change.org, currently has 362 supporters and needs 138 more to make its case. The Business and Residents Association argues that the homeless shelters, occupying the old Quality Hotel on Howe and the former Kettle of Fish restaurant on Pacific, went ahead without hesitation.
“With no warning and no consultation, the Mayor’s staff approved these two homeless shelters to be placed right in the middle of our densely populated community,” the petition claims.
Citing the hundreds of families relying on pre-schools and day cares in the area between the Burrard and Granville Bridges, the petition states “it is inappropriate and dangerous that two huge facilities housing a high risk population be placed adjacent to schools, playgrounds, and community amenities.” The document also makes note of the recent spike in crime around the facility at 900 Pacific.
While they insist the petition is not due to lack of compassion, the NFCBRA says this particular project was “grossly mishandled”.
“The 157 capacity Quality Inn site will be staffed with just two support workers … There is no long term program for rehabilitation; merely shelter. Funding would be better placed to address the core issues behind the homelessness problem in our city, rather than transporting a completely dysfunctional community into a thriving, well functioning one with growing families.”
Those who have signed the petition comment on the increase in crime, including harassment, theft, and break and enters, as well as blatant drug use and used needles discarded on sidewalks and in alleys.
The average asking price for a townhome in the North False Creek area, commonly included as part of Yaletown, as of April 2013 was $1.6 million. The average asking price for a condo was $973,726. Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom in the area comes in around $1200 to $2500 a month.
Featured Image: Granville Street Bridge via Shutterstock