Emotions still boiling over with Gregor's HEAT shelters

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


heat.jpgThe HEAT shelter controversy just doesn't seem to being going away for Mayor Robertson. Rather than taking our advice and removing Councillor Jang as his council cabinet minister for this file, the Mayor stubbornly sticks to his plan.

CityCaucus.com has obtained a letter written by a local resident to the Government of BC asking that they no longer fund the second shelter located in the False Creek North neighbourhood. The letter was signed by a local resident who claims the toxic situation in the neighbhourhood has not improved much with the closure of one of Robertson's no-barrier HEAT shelters.

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

Thank you for listening to and acting upon the concerns of the residents of False Creek North regarding the 2 HEAT shelters in the 1400 blocks of Howe and Granville Streets. As we had indicated in our previous correspondence to your offices, there appeared to be little distinction between the 2 shelters. The interchange and interplay between the shelters were obvious as was the attraction to both of the predators and criminal outside element. This appears to be borne out by the continuing lawlessness and illegal activity in the neigbourhood.

We now also have a number of so-called protestors who have erected a tent city of sorts in the alley behind 1442 Howe Street. My observation is that some may be protestors. However, the majority again appear to be an unruly outside element who wish to be close to the “party scene” going on at and around the Howe St. shelter.

Regardless of who they may be, they are flagrantly defying law and order, and may be attempting to “blackmail” the authorities while creating a serious health hazard with the accumulated garbage and public urination/defecation. In addition, their very presence poses a threat to the neighbourhood’s safety with wide-spread illicit drug use and dealing.

An early closure of the Howe St. shelter may prompt them to disband, failing which the authorities should step in to remedy this deplorable situation. The City seems reluctant to enforce its own bylaws or the laws of the land – why? I sincerely hope it is not to teach the community a lesson for its challenge to Vision’s attempt at social experimentation. We now learn that on July 13th a right turn on Pacific onto Hornby will no longer be permitted to the detriment of the Hornby St. businesses. This will force traffic flow to turn right on Howe St., which is predominately a residential street. Coincidence?

We have also obtained a number of photos recently taken in the area which show people defecating in back lanes and getting arrested by the police (see above). If these photos were in fact taken since the closure of the first HEAT shelter, it would appear the situation in the neighbourhood remains bad.

The advent of a "tent city" could also prove problematic for the local residents if it grows into something larger. Needless to say, emotions are still running very high in the community over the Mayor's lack of consultation on his HEAT shelters.


To add further insult to injury - the residents at 1500 Howe requested City approval to add a security gate to protect their garden and fountain area from trespassers. The request was rejected by the City who said the gate would 'degrade' the street perspective. SAY WHAT? The City can bypass their own laws, their own zoning regulations and fire regulations to open a no barrier shelter thus flooding False Creek North with every conceivable criminal element and when residents try to protect themselves from the City's own flagrant abuse of responsibility we are told we can't because it would disrupt the view?? I suppose the folks at 1500 Howe should have applied to install a 'chicken enclosure device' - I am sure it would have flown through approval (pardon the pun)
Please everyone - stop the Free Range Gregor gong-show before it is too late

Free Range Gregor and his idiot chickens at city hall, will find the next election to be a sad time for their jobs.


Hey "Bubble Boy". You better get going on finding a solution. Hasn't this little experiment gone far enough or are you still gathering data for Dr. Jang to publish in "a what not to do" feature in a Social Psychology Journal.

Hey Bubble Boy - The problem with bubbles is that sometimes they burst. You have without doubt ruined a neighbourhood. You throw these shelters into a community without taking any responsibility for their successful operation --success for the residents of the community, the residents of the shelter and for Rain City who operate them. So when the funding for the shelter was not renewed and others scramble to find housing what do you do? Nothing. Walk away, wash your hands. Who was claiming to be the hero when these shelters were first conceived? Were you giving credit to yourself or Rain City? (yourself is of course) well bubble boy, your bubble is sitting dangerously close to the recall pin. You show no leadership skills at all. Like Paris Hilton..you're pretty...but you are w/out substance.

Residents of this neighbourhood have suffered enough. If the Mayor really believes these shelters are necessary this summer, it is time for him to find the courage of his convictions and move the shelter to his neighbourhood. That would demonstrate leadership that has so far been sadly lacking.

It is also time for Councillor Jang to apologize to the residents of this neighbourhood for his intemperate remarks in the Straight denigrating their motives and character.

And it is time for the Mayor to present a credible plan for ending homelessness - efforts so far do not inspire confidence.

Does anyone here care about the people or is it just the politics? Seems to me nimby politics are ruling the day, while transparent sympathy for those in need is only barely there for show.

Early on I thought Gregor the Good cared for those in need. But when his 90-day HEAT mandate ended in March he neither had a plan nor any treatment to offer those very folk.

As for the neighbourhood in need, Bubble Boy clearly abdicated all responsibility and is nowhere to be found. Maybe he's drafting his next Good Neighbour Agreement.

Mayor, Vancouver's a B-I-G city with complex 'big boy' issues - you must do better for ALL of us and either stand up or step down.

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