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Victoria homelessness and street-related issues


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#18941 On the Level

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 04:12 PM

The fact the mayor is A-OK with this should be a big red flag for 85 percent of Victoria.  

 

I didn't articulate my post above very well but as the paper points out, "Housing First" strategies are deliberately designed to ignore all evidence beyond "housing".  The issue with Housing First is that it is an oversimplification.  Problems cannot be simplified down to poverty and limitations of housing.  Homelessness is a complex problem needing a well rounded solution.

 

While there will be cases where Housing First can help, it is inappropriate for a Council, a Mayor or the Province to adopt "Housing First" blindly.  If it was a successful strategy, we wouldn't have the issues we see today around the former hotels.  Left to continue, this situation will degrade.

 

Housing First is not the panacea that Helps, Issit and UVIC make it out to be.  A difficult conversation with fewer buzzwords is needed.


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#18942 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 04:42 PM

I didn't articulate my post above very well but as the paper points out, "Housing First" strategies are deliberately designed to ignore all evidence beyond "housing".  The issue with Housing First is that it is an oversimplification.  Problems cannot be simplified down to poverty and limitations of housing.  Homelessness is a complex problem needing a well rounded solution.

 

While there will be cases where Housing First can help, it is inappropriate for a Council, a Mayor or the Province to adopt "Housing First" blindly.  If it was a successful strategy, we wouldn't have the issues we see today around the former hotels.  Left to continue, this situation will degrade.

 

Housing First is not the panacea that Helps, Issit and UVIC make it out to be.  A difficult conversation with fewer buzzwords is needed.

 

The best thing I've heard about "Housing First" is that if it is adopted, that if it becomes "Housing Only" - it fails and fails badly.  That is what we're seeing.


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#18943 Midnightly

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 05:27 PM

when the most recent hotels opened up (and even when 844 johnson opened up) they kept talking about wrap around supports for those being housed, yet it seems those supports are simply not used or not provided... and the housing first model ends up just becoming housing only... and then a new battle starts (the SJW's against the neighbourhoods facing a rise in crime and vandalism)

 

i wonder if these supports were indeed provided and they were mandatory (your room is dependent on you speaking with a councilor,seeing medical professionals to help diagnose issues, attending meetings) would we be having these issues that we are having at the hotels currently housing the homeless?


Edited by Midnightly, 01 August 2020 - 05:30 PM.


#18944 mbjj

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:14 PM

Bathrobe, lol.



#18945 tanker

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:58 PM

when the most recent hotels opened up (and even when 844 johnson opened up) they kept talking about wrap around supports for those being housed, yet it seems those supports are simply not used or not provided... and the housing first model ends up just becoming housing only... and then a new battle starts (the SJW's against the neighbourhoods facing a rise in crime and vandalism)

i wonder if these supports were indeed provided and they were mandatory (your room is dependent on you speaking with a councilor,seeing medical professionals to help diagnose issues, attending meetings) would we be having these issues that we are having at the hotels currently housing the homeless?


We can lock down the whole country for months but we can't force a bunch of addicts to get treatment because it's violate their rights.
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#18946 Midnightly

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:28 PM

We can lock down the whole country for months but we can't force a bunch of addicts to get treatment because it's violate their rights.

 

no forcing... just if you don't attend, you lose your free housing... if you want to keep your housing you attend...  and along with that we go back to enforcing the bylaws on camping, restrict specific parks (there used to be a list of parks people couldn't camp in) and camping only allowed 7pm to 7am... and for those who feel these things are too hard, they are welcome to leave.. i have a feeling apply those things and we'll see a huge drop in campers around the city... and probably a drop in crime too


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#18947 On the Level

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 09:20 PM

Treatment really only works for those ready and want it.  For the rest, there needs to be a more difficult conversation about where they go, how we can support them while also reflecting on how these solutions impact everyone.



#18948 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 02:42 AM

Treatment really only works for those ready and want it.  For the rest, there needs to be a more difficult conversation about where they go, how we can support them while also reflecting on how these solutions impact everyone.

 

double bunk those that do not want to go to treatment.  that's a very persuasive method.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 02 August 2020 - 02:42 AM.


#18949 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 03:29 AM

Helps said in the webinar that Victoria’s geography and access to resources have also drawn people in need to the city.

 

https://www.timescol...ness-1.24180143

 

 

 

yet somehow the geography of saanich has not attracted many.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 02 August 2020 - 03:30 AM.

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#18950 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 04:46 AM

yet somehow the geography of saanich has not attracted many.

 

The City of Victoria's geography is more urban, with storefront businesses, pedestrian traffic, and public space. If you've got nothing to do all day, it's a more interesting place to hang around, and presents more opportunities for bottle collection, panhandling, etc. than a vast suburb structured around automobile traffic and shopping malls with private security.


Edited by Jacques Cadé, 02 August 2020 - 04:48 AM.


#18951 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 04:53 AM

so we need to enforce our vagrancy laws like private security does in Saanich.

i’m all for that.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 02 August 2020 - 04:54 AM.

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#18952 E2V

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 07:06 AM

The mayor of Medicine Hat, a community that has received national praise for their methods in dealing with the homeless, was in Victoria a couple of years ago. His first suggestion was that our numerous aid agencies be consolidated into one to increase effectiveness and efficiency. He was flatly told that would not be happening here. This has clearly become an industry.


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#18953 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 08:08 AM

The mayor of Medicine Hat, a community that has received national praise for their methods in dealing with the homeless, was in Victoria a couple of years ago. His first suggestion was that our numerous aid agencies be consolidated into one to increase effectiveness and efficiency. He was flatly told that would not be happening here. This has clearly become an industry.

 

This.  I think the province needs to step in and make this like the hospital system - no private provision of these services.


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#18954 Sparky

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 08:18 AM

so we need to enforce our vagrancy laws like private security does in Saanich.

i’m all for that.


How do private security companies enforce vagrancy laws in Saanich?

#18955 Rob Randall

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 09:01 AM

Vagrancy laws? What is this, 1932?


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#18956 aastra

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 12:05 PM

 

The City of Victoria's geography is more urban, with storefront businesses, pedestrian traffic, and public space. If you've got nothing to do all day, it's a more interesting place to hang around, and presents more opportunities for bottle collection, panhandling, etc. than a vast suburb structured around automobile traffic and shopping malls with private security.

 

There are so many inconsistencies with the prevailing premises. So what about North Vancouver and the various neighbourhood commercial districts in the city of Vancouver or Burnaby or Victoria... aren't Oak Bay Avenue or Beacon Avenue interesting places to hang around, with storefronts and pedestrian traffic and public spaces? And how do we explain the issues in Surrey? It has big problems but it's suburban. How do we explain why some sections of downtown Vancouver are overrun and other sections have no visible issues?

 

Come on, in January we were talking about Oak Bay's eviction of a difficult individual, in June we were talking about Sidney's eviction of a difficult individual... Nobody even tries to make a secret of it: the system continues to push issues out of certain areas where the issues are not tolerated and into certain areas where the issues are tolerated.


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#18957 Daveyboy

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 09:07 PM

Very disappointed and angry.  A wonderful older lady who is probably the most generous person I know was in tears today.  She has a raised garden spot in the community garden located at Cecilia Ravine Park off of Burnside .  Homeless tent squatters (numbers growing on a daily basis)  located in the park have climbed over the fence into the garden, pulled out all of the tomato plants and just left them to rot (they didn't bother to eat the tomatoes).  Then they left a pile of faeces for her to clean up.  She has moved the one remaining plant onto the balcony of her apartment.  When she talked to a city representative, she was advised not to walk in that park but to stay on the road instead!  Thanks Cov!


Edited by Daveyboy, 02 August 2020 - 09:14 PM.

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#18958 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 09:40 PM

Very disappointed and angry.  A wonderful older lady who is probably the most generous person I know was in tears today.  She has a raised garden spot in the community garden located at Cecilia Ravine Park off of Burnside .  Homeless tent squatters (numbers growing on a daily basis)  located in the park have climbed over the fence into the garden, pulled out all of the tomato plants and just left them to rot (they didn't bother to eat the tomatoes).  Then they left a pile of faeces for her to clean up.  She has moved the one remaining plant onto the balcony of her apartment.  When she talked to a city representative, she was advised not to walk in that park but to stay on the road instead!  Thanks Cov!

 

Its heartbreaking.  How is it when her generation was in charge, this wouldn't have happened?? But now, it's a free for all of entitled jerks wrecking things.


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#18959 mbjj

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 07:15 AM

Oh gosh, that's awful! I get mad when deer eat my stuff, but I can't imagine anything that horrible...yuck.



#18960 zoomer

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 09:30 AM

Some random thoughts because hey, isn’t that the approach we’ve been taking for decades?

-As AwaitingJuno said - we can’t just have voluntary coordination (which isn’t even happening despite words to the contrary), there has to be government ownership and accountability. The buck has to stop somewhere. Yes, we still would like the churches and homeless and drug advocates do their good work, but there has to be a consistent, strategic and outcome based approach that the government directs and non-government agencies can sign up to play their designated role if they want the cash.

-What level of government Zoomer? Well, a combination of all three levels, but there has to a national approach and strategy or else we’re shuffling the problem and giving people bus tickets to leave the province. Easier said than done.

-Why do we allow a tiny percentage of society (less than 1%) to inflict damage, harm and violence on the rest of us? I’m not speaking about all or even most homeless, but those who inflict physical violence, steal, damage property, etc. I get it, you’re addicted to drugs - you must feed the beast. But get caught stealing then you have a choice, rehab or one year in jail. Yes, we need more rehab and more preventive measures right from child birth and even before.

-Why do we allow people to set up homes in public parks, or sidewalks? How about no camping in public spaces period, and zero tolerance for any chattel goods that block sidewalks, public spaces. In return, yes, let’s make sure there are a variety of housing choices available, it’s humane and mandated by the courts. Some people will always prefer camping to shelters, I get that. Have the province purchase a few hectares of forest land somewhere in the Greater Victoria confines. Create enough camping spaces for 500 people. Provide all onsite services required, including government supplied drugs. The government has then fulfilled its obligation to provide housing within the the region. No one has the right to live in a downtown public park or in downtown storefronts.

-In addition to the rights of the homeless and drug addicted, we need to think of the 99%. How about a motto - ‘Respect and minimize harm for all”. In all cases we need to think how we can do both - is it sane to think that we place troubled people in a dense downtown environment where negative behaviour will impact the greatest number of people possible and drag down the economic driver of the region? Services can be provided anywhere, and more cost effectively on lower cost land with less negative economic impact (think losses to individuals and businesses, increase security and police costs, etc). Downtown homeless housing should still be available to those who want to live downtown and haven’t been convicted of offences. If you have been, well, sorry, you go to treatment (mental or drug), go to jail, or you can have housing available further away from people you have harmed.

-Enough of being married to your ideology - we need to all work together and constantly adapt our approaches to find success. It’s not about egos or empire building, it’s not about my approach or my philosophy (or what I’ve spent 30 years teaching at UVic) it’s about helping those who are in need and the rest of the community.

-Success is putting yourself out of business.. this has to be the motto, otherwise you’re in it for yourself. There must be transparency, which is crucial for public support and engagement. Homeless counts must be conducted by neutral parties, it’s mind boggling and unscientific (isn’t following science what we’re all calling for during this pandemic?) that it’s not currently. Real time shelter availability on a public website, real time (as possible) crime/incident reporting online, but also progress reports.

-What’s we’re doing isn’t working - let’s be open to new approaches, such as who we have working with the homeless and how we engage with them. Let’s be more aware of who is sleeping or panhandling on our streets, or identify early on those who are at risk. Support them to steer them away from bigger problems, have a larger and more active street team that isn’t the police level when not required. Ultimately we’re spending this money upfront now because we want to help and then reduce spending greatly so we can redirect it for benefits we can all enjoy - like more bike lanes, reduced taxes, nicer flower baskets, better health care.. whatever your heart desires! :D
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