To the editor,
Re: Supportive housing plan won’t proceed, Feb. 22.
I wonder, during this whole process of this supportive housing project, has anyone considered that the location of the project wasn’t the issue, but rather the type of housing that would be built? I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking that a housing project that is similar to Uplands Walk, the Wesley Street project, or the Boundary Crescent project would not be welcome at this location. With all previous projects, a low-barrier, wet environment has been its fundamental structure. However, this structure of these housing projects does not serve everyone who is homeless, or at risk of homelessness. I wholly agree that such housing wouldn’t be preferable.
Personally, I chose supportive housing because I was accepted and could not afford to live in market rent. I am seeking a life of healthy purpose, yet because of the structure of supportive housing in Nanaimo, I am stuck living with people who choose the behaviours I stay away from. There are others like me, but we are stuck in a loophole with our housing situation. We want to, and make every attempt at healthy lives, while living in a somewhat unsafe housing situation. Why are we stuck? Because we cannot afford market rent and there is no high-barrier, dry housing projects with openings for us.
So, think twice when a housing project under consideration comes to your neighbourhood. If you don’t want drugs in your neighbourhood, consider making housing for those who don’t use drugs, instead of just cancelling the project all together.
Lori Thomas, Nanaimo
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