Dena Bairbash helped organize residents of Kelowna’s north end in efforts to petition the city to readdress the recently-moved location of Kelowna’s homeless camp near Knox Mountain. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

Knox Mountain, north end Kelowna residents gather to petition city over homeless camp relocation

Concerned residents organized Saturday morning in downtown Kelowna

The ramifications of the City of Kelowna’s decision to move the Leon Avenue homeless camp to Kelowna’s north end has concerned residents speaking out.

On Saturday morning at a restuarant at the Kelowna Innovation Centre, Knox Mountain neighbours and other residents of the north end met to discuss and share their confusion over the city’s decision.

While various speakers acknowledged the difficulty when it comes to homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness, a petition was started to lobby the city to find a better place for people experiencing homelessness to live.

“We don’t have the answers, we’re just starting with our mountain,” said petition organizer Dena Bairbash.

“We’re starting to make sure that our mountain is kept safe and sound and petitioning the city allows to get us in front of council and show them that we were kind of side-swiped with how this happened and we want to make sure that they can see the numbers of people that are here and we deserve a right for transparency.”

READ MORE: Kelowna’s homeless unhappy with temporary overnight shelter situation

READ MORE: Knox Mountain area residents hold protest over homeless camp move

The City of Kelowna moved the homeless tent camp on Leon Avenue to two sites in the north end on Nov. 25. While the Knox Mountain site has not been used as much as the second site on Recreation Avenue next to the Kelowna Curling Club, residents are want assurances the city will keep its promises the new sites are temporary.

Various speakers at Saturday morning’s gathering shared their concern and outrage that there was no warning of the sites coming to their neighbourhood and no guarantees have been made from the city they will be temporary.

“We care about our community,” said Bairbash.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support, I think it’s incredible that we have this many here. We had 20 people and that grew to almost 150 people. I think that it’s more than people just from the north end, these are people from all over Kelowna and other places. Everyone loves that mountain.”

Bairbash, and the Downtown Knox Mountain Association, said Knox is a welcoming place but the city’s ill-conceived decision needs to be addressed and that both the city and the province of B.C. need to come up with better options to help the homeless population and keep the nearby communities safe.

“It’s not an ‘us versus them’ problem. It’s a city problem,” said one concerned speaker.

Information on the petition to the City of Kelowna can be forwarded to saveknoxmountain@yahoo.ca.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Lower Similkameen Indian Band closes beach near Cawston to non-band members

The COVID-19 crisis “has not gone away” and “remains an ever present threat” says the LSIB

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Missing Penticton woman located by RCMP

Iesha Blomquist was reported missing on June 30

Video: Okanagan College congratulates 2020 grads

Over 2000 recent grads had their convocation postponed due to the pandemic

Show off your homegrown South Okanagan veggies in this photo contest

Contest encourages residents to flaunt their homegrown produce

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Okanagan home destroyed by fire

Call came in from Teresa Road in Lake Country just after 6 a.m. Tuesday, July 7

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

Hidden cameras in Okanagan forests catch illegal dumpers, lead to fines

The Okanagan Forest Task Force’s have led to 13 or 14 tickets for illegal dumpers

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

Most Read