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Letter: Why not offer day care for Penticton’s homeless?

Why not turn the Bus Barn into a day shelter where they could eat, be with their peers?
A Penticton letter writer questions why there can’t be a place for people experiencing homelessness to go during the day instead of wandering the streets. (File photo)

Dear Editor:

The situation: most of the Penticton homeless shelters have overnight beds for one night. In the early morning most homeless people are evicted onto the streets with their belongings for the day like stray dogs. They disperse and congregate throughout the City, mainly in alleyways, behind buildings, city streets and quite often create a safety problem outside commerces, banks and others because they have nowhere else to go inside in a dedicated day shelter without a basic coffee and bun. This is a deplorable and immoral situation which city council has to remedy. Those homeless persons need a place for the day.

The solution: Two years ago, during the controversial Victory Church squabble with then Minister Eby, city council offered the use of the old Bus Barn as an alternate homeless shelter but this option was summarily rejected by Minister Eby. Why not resurrect this option of using the Bus Barn solely as a Day Care Centre for an Adult Homeless Shelter where the poor homeless people thrown helter-skelter on the streets could find at least solace with their peers for the day before returning to the night shelters? The Health Center previously used at the Victory Church could be returned to the Bus Barn to provide basic hygiene help.

The announcement that B.C. uses budget surplus for $1B growth fund for communities infrastructure to be distributed by the end of March, based on population.

I sincerely hope that city council will find in their heart to use some of these funds, not for pet projects again, but to take care of the basic daily needs of the homeless population. This could prove a big winner for Penticton in the long run.

Major Claude Filiatrault


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