Chutter interview on Granville Shelters, part 2

Post by Erin Chutter in

7 comments

in the frying pan
Mayor Robertson is feeling the HEAT after another bad week

Last week, I interviewed Lin Sheff, a resident of the embattled south of Pacific neighbourhood, about the ongoing challenges faced by their community as they cope with the consequences of opening no-barrier shelters in this residential area. The big shock since our interview last week is that the consultation that was promised by the City, has not commenced, leaving residents confused and angry.

Lin, we spoke last week just after the Provincial Housing Minister closed the Granville Shelter. How are things in the neighbourhood now?

Erin, I wish I could tell you better news. A reporter from CKNW called yesterday and asked the same question. I went to sleep last night so depressed. And we just received notice today that the City has handed the duty to consult over to Raincity Shelter – the Mayor is completely abdicating responsibility for that which he created.

So closing one of the shelters hasn’t made a difference?

The city says they shut the “troublesome one”, but they are interchangeable. The closure has not changed the make up of the troubles. It hasn’t lessened the number of people in the alley way. We are still seeing criminal activity. We have photos of women urinating 20 feet from the shelter door, people doing heroin.

Last night when we went out, there was a fellow disturbed by drugs or something else, ranting profanity and punching the brick wall. He was kicking stuff in the alley. Some of his friends came out to calm him down and they all started smoking crack, again with 20 feet of the shelter door.

Are there less people around?

No. Now there are mattresses and blue blankets set up in the alley and a bunch of people are sleeping down there. People have been interviewed saying it’s a protest of some sort.

To us, it seems more like blackmail. They won’t accept spots in other shelters and instead are camping in the alley.

What is happening with the consultation promised by the City?

We heard Provincial housing minister, Rich Coleman say that when the shelter was shut down, that we would see immediate consulting. We haven’t heard a single word from the City.

Really?

Nothing. There has been nothing except an escalation in community activities. Even our buildings have now been defaced by posters with glue that can’t be removed. Someone seems to be stepping up the assault on our community.

But nothing from the city.

There was a very clear directive from BC Minister when they took the action that the City wouldn’t take that we would have consultion.

And you’ve heard nothing from the City – no calls, emails, meetings?

I’ve been in touch with a lot of people. We walk around the community (not alone) and speak to lots of people. No one is hearing anything from the city.

We received this email from Gregor Robertson on June 29.

We have to ask, what immediate steps have been taken? What is the Mayor’s definition of immediate?

Have there been new community meetings?

Not yet...(At this point during our interview, the loud sound of sirens came over the phone line and suddenly stopped right outside Lin’s building. She looked from the window, but couldn’t see the cause.)

This is the sound of our neighbourhood now. At 1230 last night, police were racing into the alley again. It just stays the same.

And what is the community doing?

Over the past week or so, we have been trying to be patient and waiting to see when the consultation would begin. We haven’t contacted the media directly, we’ve only been responding.

We are just dumbfounded by the lack of city action and consultation.

Other buildings near us have approached us. They are also upset about how nothing is moving forward. Lots of people want to step up the discussion. We’ll need to hold a meeting soon among building residents to decide what to do.

There is a small group reaching out the seniors in the subsidized housing building (nearby). Many of those seniors feel like hostages. We’re going to offer to help them if they need someone to walk with them to the store or other assistance. The city doesn’t seem to be looking out for us.

Do you think there is a plan?

We think that that if there had been a plan, we would have seen it sometime before the shelter went in, during the time the shelters have been here or now. Nothing.

This administration doesn’t consult – they aren’t consulting with Hornby merchants about the impact to them by the bikes lanes.

The city said “we hear your concerns, we are here to act on your concerns” at our community meeting a month ago in June. We are seeing nothing than words. There is a “good neighbour agreement”, the “bad apple plan”. But if they are not going to enforce what they said they are going to do, then it’s not worth paper it is written on.

This mayor put these shelters into a community without a plan and then has the gall to say that “unforeseen trouble” that emerged.

How can you not foresee trouble when no-barrier shelters never before done in the city?

7 Comments

These poor tax paying fools, actually thinking that (and probably voting for) Vision politicians give a crap about their civic rights, their ability to live in peaceful enjoyment or that their opinion matters.

When will they realize only "victims" matter and of course these people can't be victims because they have made something of their lives and can afford to live and pay taxes in a nice area of our city.

The socialist horde running our fair city will do anything, ruin any neighborhood - except theirs of course and all in the name of "helping" the disadvantaged, those who have to be given everything because they are incapable of helping themselves.

Never trust socialists if you are successful in life. All they want is your money so they can inflict their ideas on you.

The problem in Vancouver is we vote for whichever socialist party is the furthest left. Promise to spend more on homeless than Gregor and you too will be in power after the next election.
Also look who is really funding this social experiment gone wild http://www.streetohome.org/about-streetohome/board-committees
It ought to scare the be jeez out of all of us - every corporate leader in this city is pulling strings from their British Properties and Shawnessy perches to see how much the middle class will take as they try to buy some relief for their rich-man guilt or maybe even buy their way into heaven with your tax money.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. If you live in middle class Vancouver - welcome to hell.

Does this site have a plug-in which automatically deletes intelligent comments?

Testing.... 5+3=8 ....testing...


The government isn't a socialist horde ......... testing ...

Ok, it's still there.

PAE - "The problem in Vancouver is that we vote for whichever socialist party is the furthest left"

Haven't you noticed that for 19 of the last 22 years the most rightward of the major civic parties, the NPA, has been in control of city hall?

"If you live in middle class Vancouver welcome to hell"

Even by this blog's standards this is absurd commentary. If you think this city is so lousy just call U-Haul and leave:

1-877-887-3058

Geez Mikey - is paranoia a socialist trait? No one deletes postings here. Back off on the medicinal maryjane!

Forget the posturing ... focus on the issue if you want to help.

When is the government going to meet with the residents? In July? who is invited? can the public come? why not?

Everyone that feels like a stakeholder is a stakeholder. Even a rich person from 'the properties' may have a vested interest -- maybe to protect tourism, etc. Every social worker or family member that has lost someone to drugs ...

I'm pissed off and I don't live in the area. I'm a taxpayer and I want to know when the meeting is.

The media has been fantastic -- please keep the pressure up - we need you! let's focus on "we want a meeting" between concerned citizens and the government ...

I think the wealthy condo owners from north false creek need to stop their assault on homeless and poor people and learn a little bit more about their community and their city.

i spent a few hours in your neighborhood the other day - guess what? not a single needle, not a single crack pipe, and the folks sleeping under the bridge were the most honest/genuine people i talked to all night.

unlike the numerous security guards and uptight condo owners who are afraid of anyone that isn't exactly like them.

perhaps some perspective beyond your short life in that neighborhood would reveal the disgusting history of displacement and demolition of low-income homes in that neighborhood prior to your morally superior condo's.

i find the poor bashing attitude that you all are spreading in this city absolutely revolting. you are not the only people with a RIGHT to that neighborhood, you just have more money and power to push out the people that have been there well before you and your hummers moved in.

get a grip - have some compassion, and learn a thing or two about your neighborhood before you spread your hate and your feelings of entitlement to that land....

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