I must commend Penticton City Council in sticking up for our city. The decision you made about closing the temporary shelter in the old Victory Church was the correct decision. But that decision had already been made, hence temporary. You were just carrying through with it. Mr Eby is wrong and a bully, in my opinion. Penticton once was a safe, fun community. It is still a great community as far as I am concerned, but we are going down a slippery slope, and fast. All the bad publicity about one of the highest amount of sheltered beds, high crime rates etc is not helping Penticton. Shame on Mr. Eby for threatening a tent city when we’ve done far more than other communities have for the homeless.
It is time for Penticton to stop offering and other municipalities to do something. It’s not passing the buck, it’s sharing the load. It is not fair to our seniors to be held captive in their homes. I know you all know that.
When a senior goes on the health region’s waiting list for a care facility and their name comes up, they can be placed wherever a bed is available. For instance if you live in Penticton, you could be placed in Princeton. If you refuse, you go to the bottom of the list.
So why is it that when we find another facility for our homeless it can be turned down? There is a 51 bed facility in Osoyoos that was closed only due to the Campbell government going into a partnership with the private sector.
It has a 20 bed secure section for people with dementia. There is also a 31 bed unit in the building. These are all individual rooms with their own bathrooms. This building is owned by Interior Health and I believe only uses 4 rooms to house offices for the health unit, which could move any where.
This building should really be utilized for the residents of McKinney Place in Oliver where they have 4 bed wards and thus caused the spread of Covid more rapidly.
But I don’t think Interior Health is going to do that.
So why not use it for the homeless? The Province can address the issue of mental health, drug and alcohol situations. Two units mental health on one side drug and alcohol on the other side. This could be a treatment center. So, no need to build another facility in Penticton, as we have one in Osoyoos.
Mr. Eby does not have to build or look further. Utilize what you have.