Published July 08, 2019 08:03

In the meeting held on June 20, we shared some of our concerns about the proposal from Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services to build a 58-bed facility next to our Boys and Girls Club.

We wish to apologize to those in attendance who felt they weren’t acknowledged, heard and respected – this was not our intention. We also acknowledge that we did not fulfil our leadership role of ensuring that the tone and tenor of the meeting remained positive and fact-based.

We want to be clear that we are supportive of facilities like the one being proposed, and other support systems that help reduce homelessness and bolster our Indigenous community. We want to encourage a fair and balanced conversation. In that regard, another meeting is being hosted by proponents of the housing development July 30, 6:30 pm again at the Boys & Girls Club.

We remain concerned regarding the proposed development next door to our Club location. We believe that the residents will be best served in an area of the community that is less high-needs and high-risk than the location that is currently being proposed. We are also concerned about the housing complex being situated next door to a child and youth recreational centre, a high school and an elementary school.

Options exist for this development to be moved to three other areas proposed by the City: we believe the project has merit to address the needs of homelessness within our city, but the current proposed location needs to address risk for both those living in the residence and neighbours.

We welcome community comments and community involvement and are committed to creating a neighbourhood and community that works for everyone.

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