BC Housing needs to work with communities
Placing the burden of care on communities with limited infrastructure to support complex care is setting them up for failure.
BC Housing Fails to Focus On
BC Housing needs to take a proactive approach to gaining community trust and engagement in order to ensure the success of any supportive housing project. Considering each unique community for what it can provide and recognizing where it will be set-up for failure is an important component to our requests for 1909 Prosser in Central Saanich.
If we turn to other examples of supportive housing in the province, there is a clear increase in crime in close proximity to SH facilities. Families live in this area with the community school bus (SD63) dropping off literally at the corner of E Saanich Road at Prosser Rd. Directly across the street is Legion Manner, a retirement Community dedicated to offering comfortable, quality accommodation for seniors 55 years of age and older. Too much is at stake to jeopardize the safety of anyone including the supportive housing residents.
Central Saanich is a small community with limited resources. The hospital is already taxed, there is no longer a night paramedic available and, in the winter, there are can be two police officers on-call. The complex care for those facing homelessness, mental health issues or substance abuse has to come from complex services and programs.
Our Community Wants To Be Heard
Residents are NOT AGAINST SUPPORTIVE HOUSING. Instead, communities welcome it and understand the social issues at play across BC and want to do their part. What Central Saanich residents are asking for is assurance and a plan to ensure that the tenants in the facility are supported, the community feels safe and heard, and the long-term success rates of similar programs are increased.
Therefore, a committee of diverse backgrounds (i.e. Clinicians with lived experience at other supportive housing projects and a 911 South Island operator) has formed to work with councillors and our local MLA, Adam Olsen, to ask that BC Housing engages with our community and considers the recommendations to ensure that this project is successful for everyone.
How You Can Take Action
1. Sign the Petition
Numbers matter here, if you live in Central Saanich and want to see a better model being implemented please sign. If you live in a community where a supportive housing unit already exists and you want to see a better model, please sign. If you live in a community without supportive housing but want to ensure any future projects are done with the community in mind, please sign.
2. Send Emails
Letting our local councillors and our MLA know where you stand is important so that they can work with BC Housing to implement your recommendations and address your concerns. Emailing, John Horgan, BC Housing and Hon. D Eby directly is also highly encouraged especially addressing their decision to use paramountcy to push these projects throughout BC without local community input and consideration for local infrastructure and resources.
Premier John Horgan: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hon. David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing: AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Ryan Windsor, Mayor of Central Saanich: email@example.com
Adam Olsen, MLA: Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca
Central Saanich Councillors:
Chris Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Jensen - email@example.com
Zeb King - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon Newton - email@example.com
Niall Paltiel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Thompson - email@example.com