A petition has been launched in an effort to gather signatures from people opposed to a temporary housing site for homeless people on a vacant lot at 610 Trunk Road in Duncan.
Opponents of the plan want to block it over concerns about an increase in drug use and other related problems in the vicinity.
Cowichan Housing Association Executive Director Shelly Cook says they’re very aware of the concerns and are responding to them.
Cook says they understand businesses in the area are dealing with some unpleasant issues, such as finding people overdosed in parking lots and young people who are at significant risk and doing things that are greatly alarming to people.
She says they want to ensure neighbourhood safety and security through onsite security, but notes the project will also provide unsheltered people with security.
She describes it as “a response to current issues and we just always ask people for a few successful months of operation to demonstrate the value of this project.”
Cook says the plan is “a really important piece of the solution” that will provide a pathway to recovery, which is ultimately about making the “community safer and diminishing what people are seeing in terms of the public drug use.”
The proposal is for 40 sleeping pods to be located on the site along with individualized support services to help unsheltered people with underlying health and social needs.
On Monday, December 13, Duncan City Council will consider the application for a Temporary Use Permit to provide accommodation and support services for up to 40 individuals from January 15, 2022, to September 30, 2022.