I have hesitated to speak out regarding the proposed supportive housing development on School Road because I feel torn. But, given the ad placed in your latest issue by the Gibsons Residents and Taxpayers Association (GRTA), I need to say something. There has been disingenuousness on both sides here. As someone whose loved one suffers from a serious mental illness, self-medicates with illicit drugs, and is currently homeless, I am aware of the desperate need. I also live near the proposed location. When I attended a neighbourhood meeting back in the spring I intended to speak in support of the project. However, when I perceived the folks from RainCity evading questions about active drug users being part of the population of this residence, I was put off. The neighbours’ concerns were valid. They deserved straight answers.
But I am also put off by the ad from the GRTA people. “Off bus routes”? Don’t be silly! Yes, it’s not directly on the bus route – residents will have to walk a couple of blocks, but they’ll be able to catch both the North Road bus and the ones that go through Lower Gibsons. This is better access to transit than most of us get. And “far from essential services”? Again, closer than many. Shopping and the Health Unit are in easy walking distance. The hospital, Mental Health, etc. – as we all know, those are in Sechelt, not here. But, as I said, the bus to Sechelt is a short walk from the proposed location.
Neither opinion is well served by either evasion or exaggeration. Let’s be honest with each other.
Anne Miles, Gibsons