Why would you move Seasons House into an area that has drug problems ?
That is just one of the concerns a Quesnel City Councillor has with the possible relocation of the homeless shelter to Elliott Street in West Quesnel.
Shushil Thapar is the only Councillor, at least so far, to vote against the rezoning of that property…
“The way season house work is not working for people in the area and causes a lot of problems so my question is why they are moving into that location on Elliott Street. That area is also called coconut grove, so why you put another facility where those people are actually vulnerable to have that area already a problem.”
The current facility, located downtown, has created a lot of problems for the surrounding businesses and Thapar feels the problem is just being moved and adding to the unfair stigma of West Quesnel.
The proposal calls for 28 self contained independent studio dwelling units with 24-7 supports for homeless at risk, 2 rooms on the ground floor designated to include up to 8 shelter beds for short stay clients, 4 rooms for support recovery and the operation of a 10-emergency weather response beds as well.
Mayor Bob Simpson suggested that a housing agreement be part of any public consultation on the issue stating that the facility wouldn’t include a drop-in service which has created a lot of the current problems and would only provide services to the residents…
“The reasons I am suggesting the housing agreement is because the other source of drop-in is when you use the shelter beds and when you have the emergency shelter beds on top of it…if that’s not controlled, if we don’t have some sense that they’re only allowed to be there for 10 days or 30 days or whatever that could become a perpetual opportunity for people to just be dropping into the facility.”
Simpson also suggested that the current facility be moved to that model prior to construction of a new facility.
Council is also asking that a public open house take place prior to it’s public hearing on the rezoning on July 24th.
This was just the first reading of the rezoning.
The project will also require a change to the Official Community Plan.