Another HEAT shelter put on ice

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

4 comments


BC Ministry of Housing officials poured cold water to snuff out HEAT shelter controversy today

Amidst the news that Vancouver hit yet another all time record high temperature again today (34.4 Celcius) came word that Mayor Robertson's controversial HEAT shelter program took another hit. After months of bad publicity and neighbourhood complaints, BC's Minister of Housing finally pulled the pin on the second no-barrier HEAT shelter in the South Granville area near Beach and Howe Street in Vancouver.

There haven't been many new policies introduced by this Vision council since they took power over seven months ago, but the HEAT shelter program was one of them. However, in the last month alone, the Province has been forced to close two of the HEAT shelters after local residents said their neighbourhood was turning into a war zone.

Minister Coleman said he was closing the shelters not only due to the chaos that erupted in the community, but because they were extremely costly to run. The residents currently living there will be moved to another facility nearby which costs $570 a month per person, versus the $2,000 per month in Robertson's shelters.

So there you go...after months of bad publicity, Robertson's social experiment of moving homeless people from the Downtown Eastside to another neighbourhood fizzled out quietly. His first foray into developing public policy is basically in tatters, and he now must pick up the pieces and move on.

For the sake of the homeless, let's hope the next time he dreams up a new scheme he actually consults with the Minister responsible for the file as well as local residents. Only then might he be able to salvage something positive out of his good intentions.

4 Comments

Kerry Jang can't even get good new right. On CKNW yesterday he was skewered by Michael Smith all he could manage was a silly giggle and CLAIMING the CITY has been working on securing new housing which is why the shelter is closing.
Really? then why did your report to Rich Coleman released on July 29th suggest the shelter stay open? These natural born buffoons in the VISION party take credit for everything - listen bub we all know 1) Gregor and VISION created the problem 2) Jang made it worse every time the little voice in his head said 'talk out loud Kerry' 3) it was the PROVINCE that fixed the problem not Jang, not Gregor not VISION but taking credit for other's good deeds is a every left winged nut's unalienable right.

The VISION party works toward social division. Kerry wanted to paint the citizens of False Creek North and the next uprising of the KKK. Gregor stoked the poverty advocates into a frenzy and wanted the Howe shelter to be the hill he died on. That being done he moves on and stoke the cyclist rally to demonize motorists.

Seriously - is this the Vancouver you want? Because that's the vision of VISION - the homeless and the cyclists beating the living daylights out of motorists and taxpayers. Same sh*t - different hats.

Wow - this really is misleading. The Province didn't pull the plug on the shelter... they replaced it with a bigger shelter that has better facilities. This is a huge win for the city.

Daniel - I respect that this is a political blog and you oppose Vision no matter what they do, but can you at least do it when something actually goes wrong, rather than omit critical facts and spin the story?

I suppose this comment won't get approved anyway... sigh.

DOR

You must be the only person in the city that doesn't think the Province pulled funding for the Mayor's expensive and poorly planned HEAT shelters Robertson arbitrarily foisted into Vancouver neighbourhoods. Yes I agree the Province did have to pick up the pieces and provide funding to re-locate the folks living in the HEAT shelters. But somehow claiming this is a big win for the mayor indicates to me that someone has drank a bit too much of the Kool-Aid again.

Robertson hastily opened 5 HEAT shelters...had planned for them to stay open until new housing came on stream...community went ballistic...mayor asked province for more funding to keep them all open...then one closed after the Province pulled the pin...now they're ALL closed with the residents moving to other shelters.

Hmmm...regardless of which political stripe you come from, this doesn't sound like the mayor came out looking good on this one.

DOR - Daniel is right on this one. The City (Gregor and Jang) recommended on July 29th that the shelter remain open. The Province closed it and the Province opened the new shelter - the City (Gregor and Jang) had no clue about this new shelter but took credit for it anyway.

Currently the 'new' site is an international student hostel. I wonder why no one is screaming about the current tenants getting kicked to the curb to provide more space for our drug addicts? I guess it's all for the better good - push aside those that pay to make room for those that leech.

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