Some of the residents in the vicinity of 19th Street and 68th Avenue are concerned about the plan to build the new transition house and, possibly, second stage housing near their homes.
The householders in the 19th and 68th area are living in some of the most ideally situated homes in the Boundary. Within easy walking distance, to identify only a few of the wonderful amenities, there is:
• Good grocery shopping.
• Affordable, extremely well-maintained, housing (The Gables) should any friend or member of the family need it.
• Wine making.
• A good cup of espresso.
• Independent and assisted seniors’ housing (Silver Kettle).
• Swimming, skateboarding, hockey.
• Subsidized housing for seniors and special needs citizens (Parkside Villa).
• Walks and bike rides into the countryside.
• A good hospital is not very far away.
• The possibility of a Tim Hortons.
And now there will be a beautiful new transition house and possibly second stage housing available close by should any friend or member of the family need that.
Why would there be any more opposition to a transition house than to seniors’ housing or a swimming pool? It is simply one more vital element in what is required to live in a truly vibrant and mutually caring community.
Noise? No more likely than if someone in the neighbourhood enjoys souped-up cars, has a trucking company, or plays the bagpipes.
Violence? The women and children who come to the transition house are moving away from the violence that has been in their lives in neighbourhoods just like 19th and 68th.
Drugs and drug trafficking? No drug use is accepted in the transition house or in second stage housing. You are worried about drugs and drug trafficking? You should be more worried about who your neighbour might sell his/her house to.
And of course your neighbour is not going to talk to you about who he/she is selling her house to. The property owner who sold his/her property to BC Housing for the transition house also had no obligation to talk to you.
Living in a neighbourhood like 19th and 68th that is part of a community like Grand Forks is a little bit like living in an area that is prone to electrical storms. There is a tiny chance you might get electrocuted.
Overall, isn’t it great to have all of these wonderful things so handy to your home? Isn’t that a huge part of your satisfaction with where you live?
None of us is bad or wrong for the times in our lives when worries and fears about our comfort and safety arise. But building walls and creating exclusion zones won’t make anyone be actually safer. There is nothing to actually be fearful of when you are thinking about supporting women and children who are seeking to step away from violence and intimidation in their lives.
Family violence is what there is to be truly frightened of. Unhappily it lives right next door to almost all of us no matter in what neighbourhood we might reside.
– Ron Liddle, Christina Lake