HEAT Shelter consultations begin...finally

Post by Mike Klassen in

10 comments

er, it's about time, folks
Er, it's about time, folks. The City kick starts HEAT shelter consultations after 7 months

After some significant urging from the public, and considerable discussion here on CityCaucus.com, the City of Vancouver is finally kick-starting the public consultations for the HEAT shelter on Howe Street. A media release from Corporate Communications (soon to be no longer headed by Laurie Best) was issued this afternoon:

City seeks resident and public input on Howe Street HEAT shelter

The City today launched a public consultation process to receive feedback on the operation of the Howe Street HEAT shelter.

The shelter is funded by the Ministry of Housing and Social Development through BC Housing until July 31, 2009. The consultation process will help the Province determine whether the shelter will stay open.

Several meetings will be held with neighbourhood residents, businesses, and service providers to hear potential solutions for housing the homeless and shelter operations.

Area residents, businesses and the public are encouraged to fill in an online survey linked to the City's homepage at vancouver.ca.

While the timeframe for a decision on the immediate future of the Howe shelter is short, there will be more opportunity to provide feedback if funding for the shelter is extended. The web page will be an ongoing feedback tool for consultation about homelessness as well as interim and permanent housing solutions.

The 38 bed shelter provides basic accommodation for people who have been sleeping outside on the street, in front of businesses and in parks. This and other shelters provide the first step in moving homeless citizens from the street to housing. The City is continuing to work closely with the Province and the private sector to put in place interventions which move people from the street to housing as rapidly as possible.

To learn more about the City's housing strategy, visit vancouver.ca

It will be interesting to get some early reaction from the False Creek North citizen's group, which we'll post here later. The City have posted an online survey featuring a smiling toothless old man with a dog as a symbol of homelessness. If it was only hobos in Howe Street, we doubt there would be that much noise from the community.

Instead it's a host of issues that have plagued these facilities, such as needles left in gardens, public lewdness and defecation, and open drug dealing. Any neighbourhood in the city would not welcome this, so it's unfair to accuse False Creek North residents of being elitist.

There is also a weaselly tone to this release that makes it sound like it's the Province's shelter, not the City's brainchild. No matter, it's about time City Council listened to the public about how to implement these shelters responsibly.

10 Comments

What an insult and mockery. THIS is what this bunch of cowards considers to be community consultation with impacted area residents???

"We invite you to share your thoughts and insights in our online consultation survey.

To validate your survey, please enter your postal code."

So let me see, if I enter V6Z 1R8, the address of the $%^# Howe shelter, my opinions are now counted as being that of a RESIDENT in that community?

What are they SO afraid of hearing from us? When Kerry Jang insists there's "been nothing out of the ordinary" down here! This community continues to be ridiculed and insulted by this Mayor. Shove your survey Bubble Boy.

What a farce! This is another insult to the intelligence of the False Creek North residents - is this the City's idea of open community consultation?

The Mayor's so called Round Table meetings are only to those invited by the City, and are limited to a very small number of participants. The number from the community had been set at around 6-7 people whom I understand were summoned with less than 3 days notice.

Secondly, how can an on-line survey constitute any form of consultation? To qualify, all you have to do is enter an area code easily obtainable from Canada Post so it would appear that it is an area resident taking the survey. You can imagine the abuse of this form of survey.

Again, the Mayor and Vision Councilors are showing their arrogance. It's our way or the highway according to Bubble Boy Mayor.

Are they afraid to face the residents on a face-to-face basis at a properly convened public consultation meeting? I think so! Again a case of too little and too late!

what a joke - Kerry Jang quoted as saying the City did not consult the citizens because we would have just said 'no' anyway. So why now pretend to listen? I wonder if (lack of) VISION has also asked their supporters to log in and praise the shelters much like they did the Burrard Bridge experiment??
It's pointless folks - Jang, Gregor and VISON will do whatever they please and with backing from the Birkenstock Mafia they will get away with it.
Vancouver was always a destination for addicts from across the country -imagine how many we will get now that word is out - 'two meals a day (french toast 3 different ways!) and no rules (come and go as you like!)in a really nice part of town (for now) with a steady supply of dealers in the alley, free range defecation and fornication all backed up by every imaginable 'charitable society' to ensure your 'rights' are not violated.
Please Canada - send us your stoned, your criminals, your unwilling to participate in society types and we'll spend silly with all our civic and provincial resources to ensure they are so comfortable they will never go home. That is the vision of VISION.

page one of the survey includes a picture of a homeless man with his dog. That is supposed to make me feel better? How unbiased is that? The survey is a crock.

What an insult to the citizens of False Creek North. What does the city have against this neighborhood? First they drag their feet on a promised move of the automobile impound lot, then the terribly ill-conceived Heat shelter plan and the wave of criminal and anti-social behaviour in the neighborhood that accompanied it. Finally, for the trifecta, cutting the sales at local businesses on Hornby street by banning right turns.

I guess fill out the survey, what's one more insult. Better yet, call/e-mail Rich Coleman rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca 604-607-6200, 250-356-7750 and demand the shelter be closed on July 31, 2009 because of the dramatically negative impact experienced in the neighborhood. He has that power, don't expect the city to help, they're the ones that started the problem in the first place and Councillor Kerry Jang is worried about residents yelling at him, apparently, according to a thetyee.ca story.

here are some quotes from shelter users and managers:
"Chains" CBC Radio July 3rd "they really don't have ANY rules - you come and go as you please" Chains quit his job once he moved into the shelter - he found "the stressful" too much.
"Samatha" CKNW July 1st - "my boyfriend lives in Granville residences - I can't go there or the manager will have me arrested" and "there is more to life than sipping $8 lattes" Samantha came to the shelter from Surrey.
"Cookie" - asked on CKNW June 30th if he works - "I don't know how to spell job" Asked how he spends his $950 a month from the province. "I smoke a lot of pot - that's about it". Asked why he likes the shelter "f*** the government telling me what to do - I like freedom"
Judy Graves - City Housing "the shelters have plenty of rules but not rules like you would expect...such as posting hours"
Mark Smith Exec Director Rain City - CBC Radio June 30th:
"we would never consider going into a community and housing 40 or 80 people in a low barrier setting."

The Vancouver.ca website has been down all afternoon. I guess they don't want to hear from citizens even through their website.

Situating the Shelter in the vicinity between the Burrard and Granville Bridges is a no go in view of the real estate, and, accordingly, the taxes paid by the owners, nearby.

If the overall plan of the current city council is to reduce the desirability of real estate in this area of the West End of Vancouver by installing Shelters and by accommodating a very small minority of the population with the absurd Burrard Street bridge access for cyclists...then they should be forthright and say so. I foolishly purchased property on Beach Avenue and, for this privilege, pay approximately $6,000 per year in taxes.

Today, I cannot access my residence without excessive delays, not experienced elsewhere in the City, am precluded from enjoying both Beach Avenue and Pacfic because it is pointless to travel on these streets due to delays caused by bizarre concessions to cyclists (who rarely use the new routes) and, overall, between the Homeless Shelters and the really silly blocking of major routes, the value of my property has been reduced and I cannot easily access my home. People who do not contribute to taxes are enjoying residence in my neighborhood and travelling on the routes in front of my home.

This is a classical case of tyranny of the minority over the majority

Tragically, I voted for Vision Vancouver because of my incorrect view that the Council would have a realistic view of what should be done in Vancouver.

It is now clear that I was wrong.

Cyclists, in my experience in the West end, are aggressive, ride on the sidewalks where I walk my dog and see the elderly, with canes, and do not use the wonderful bike paths designed for their exclusive use.
They are neither licensed, pay any fees for (anything) nor are they monitored.

The current experiment is a disaster for all of us living in the west end of Vancouver: this must be re-thought.
Perhaps a route added to the under part of the Granville Street bridge whereby Granville Island could begin a route to (wherever).

Currently, all that has been achieved is a reduction in value of properties (and taxes) in the west end of Vancouver.

if your idea is to turn it over to a tourist centre and a park.. then say so...

The 'consultation' process on Sunday involved 10 residents hand picked by City Hall and as many homeless advocate groups as could fit. The net result? The concerns of the False Creek North residents, backed up by facts, photographs, police reports and verifiable quotes were then used by Hizzoner to dis the residents in the press on Tuesday by saying there was 'hatred' and disdain from the residents. Meanwhile during the meeting all Hizzoner and company could do is say 'we have to help the homeless'.
Community concerns come second to Gregor's agenda.

There's no long-term solution in providing homeless shelters. There's nothing good that can come out of penalizing tax paying citizens and throwing a problem into their neighbourhoods to deal with, without their approval. I am sure most tax paying citizens do not want drug addicts, prostitutes and other illegal activities in their neighbourhood. This definitely is not good for tourism & family upbringing. What will you tell your kids when they asked about public sex acts or crack pipe smoking in broad daylight? What we need to do is take a more logical & practical approach to the problem rather than emotional & subjective. Definitely Gregor won the idealistic vote but soon everyone will vote for practicality. Drug addicts will lie through their teeth & use every trick in the book to continue their ways. We need to round them up, ship them to a remote facility where they will get re-education & rehabilitation on top of shelter. There should also be some sort of business there for the homeless to work off this program and gain work experience. Hand outs causes a lower sense self worth & pride. Teach a man to bake bread. Teach a man self worth and give them a sense of dignity.

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