MAAP project continues to be polarizing topic for Riverside Drive residents in Grand Forks

The MAAP project scheduled for Riverside Drive in Grand Forks continues to be polarizing topic.

Ray Hanson (Habitat For Humanity Boundary)

The Multi-Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP) in Grand Forks remains a polarizing topic, especially amongst residents in the Riverside Drive area, where the project will be situated.

Stakeholders – the Boundary and Emergency Transition Housing Society (BETHS), Whispers of Hope and Habitat For Humanity Boundary – held an information session last Thursday, allowing people to learn more and get a tour of the 7212 Riverside Drive facility, which is under construction.

Area resident Bernie Draper has voiced his opposition to the project but understands there are some that need assistance.

“In my mind, there’s one thing that has to be done. We have to look after the mentally handicapped people; that’s the most important in my mind,” explained Draper. “Those who aren’t mentally handicapped, I think they should find a job. I see tonight’s paper, there are over a dozen jobs and nobody’s applying for them.”

Draper also said that he is for Habitat For Humanity Boundary and the services it offers but is concerned about the location of MAAP site and thinks that there is a potential for people to abuse the system.

“They want to get a place to live, so by the laws of British Columbia, they have an address they can apply for welfare because you can’t apply for welfare without a fixed address,” Draper explained. “They’ll be able to draw welfare and once they get welfare, then what’s going to happen? Will they follow up to see if they’re going to take a course in something and get a job?”

Bill Pepin, another Riverside area resident is concerned about troublemakers.

“They say it’s going to be a controlled area but what will they do about the non-well-doers that come around? Do they have a plan for that?” Pepin wondered.

“Is it going to be safe for me to walk to the recycling bins to put my recycling in there?” asked Lesley Draper. “Is it going to be safe for me to walk in the park? Am I going to have my husband with me or an armed bodyguard? Who knows?”

Above all, the three aren’t happy there wasn’t any consultation from the City of Grand Forks and stakeholders with residents in the area.

Not all area residents are against the project though, as witnessed by Jock and Betty Anne Mackay.

“We think it’s a great idea,” explained Betty Anne. “It’s going to get people off the street and out from under the bridges. It’s going to get that high visibility area by (Central Avenue) over here where it’s not seen so much. I think people are going to be more comfortable coming here.”

Jock said he isn’t concerned about safety either.

“I’m not in the last bit worried. We have two dogs,” he said.

“I think if there’s a positive place for them to be, there’ll be less need for them to take what isn’t there’s but we’ve been very lucky. People don’t bother us,” Betty Anne went on to say.

The MAAP project will see the three non-profit organizations housed under one roof with a thrift store and used building goods store next door.

Just Posted

Opinion: The Second Street development might be a problem – but it’s not council’s problem

Reporter Kate Saylors writes about the common misconception surrounding a BC Housing development.

What’s happening for Family Day in the Boundary

Activities in and around Grand Forks offer something for everyone.

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Petition on Second Street project presented to council

Over 1,000 signatures were gathered, but staff say council can’t do much about the project.

Have an escape plan, meeting place in event of fire

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue offers tips to keep your family prepared.

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Skier injured in avalanche; snowmobiler stranded near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue performs two backcountry rescues in 24 hours

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Most Read