It seems it’s all kicking off around homelessness in Nanaimo again, this time it's to do with the temporary supported units at 250 Terminal Avenue. Mayor Leonard Krog, generally a good egg in my books, implied, without actually saying it, that the Province and BC Housing made a complete pigs arse out of handling Nanaimo’s homelessness and tent city crisis. While he and the newly elected, somewhat more progressive City Council remain coy on what they would do differently, Councillor Armstrong began ratcheting up the ante with talk of designating the site as a nuisance property (premature) suggesting housing first doesn’t work and we ought to focus on detox and treatment instead.
OK, fine, let’s hear from Dr. Paul Hasselback, Central Vancouver Island’s Medical Health Officer, the guy whose nose the previous council tried to push out the frame. Let’s have more Island Health and BC Housing around the same table, and a position statement from City Council and its local partners (remembering housing first is strongly implied in Nanaimo’s affordable housing strategy and action plan to end homelessness) offering reassurance.
If we fail at this, then we’ll be hearing from the likes of the Sons’ of Odin or those other mad wankers on the far left again. Right now meeting the demands of a substance dependency takes precedence for some people at 250 Terminal, and we’re all having to deal with the negativity coming out of that, yet people’s priorities will evolve as their circumstances and experiences change for the better.