Vancouver Neighborhoods "Completely Changed" by Homeless Shelters

Gary Mason describes how Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's policy of rapid expansion of homeless shelters -- including two in residential areas -- has "completely changed" those neighborhoods.
June 26, 2009, 11am PDT | Michael Dudley
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announced last year that his city would eradicate homelessness by 2015, and he began this program by opening 5 homeless shelters, two of which were in residential neighborhoods containing a "YWCA daycare, a Montessori school and a low-income seniors home. And condominium towers." As Mason writes,

"The 'low-barrier' shelters are intended for the hardest-to-home. Those who use them are allowed to bring their shopping carts and pets in with them. Drug users aren't turned away the way they are in other shelters. While no one argues the need for these kinds of accommodations as temporary measures, the problem is the type of individuals they attract if open for long. Drug addicts attract drug suppliers. Drug suppliers attract young boys to run their drugs. Consequently, there are emerging gangs of young kids – drug mules – congregating in the area and intimidating residents...residents have had enough."

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, June 25, 2009 in The Globe and Mail
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email