The pandemic is causing a rethink about many things, including what we need to do to solve homelessness and the delivery of police services in our region.
The Chamber has advocated for long-term solutions that are proven to work, such as the Therapeutic Recovery Community operated in View Royal by Our Place Society.
We understand the challenges facing businesses located near former hotel properties purchased by the province to house people who had been living in encampments. The move was initially made to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading among closely packed tents. The new locations include mental health and addiction treatment services. However, the problem is complex and concerns about safety and property need to be taken seriously.
The Chamber would like to see better enforcement of rules in place to ensure all of us can enjoy a safe community. Victoria Police Department Chief Del Manak has support from the city's police board to augment policing with civilian social services.
We know the roots of homelessness, mental health issues and addictions run deep and it's clear we need an innovative approach that can do more than push the problem between neighbourhoods.
“Greater Victoria businesses are known for their compassion and prove it by giving back, by investing in solutions to help people in need in our community," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams. "They want real solutions and all of us deserve to feel secure at home and at work. The Chamber would like to see more options for long-term treatment, and we hope BC Housing intends to fulfill its plans to transform these hotel properties into affordable housing that includes homes for our workforce.”