Photograph: Colin Dacre-file
Enterprise house owners and workers round Inside Well being’s Outreach City Well being Centre really feel unsafe and imagine the location is detrimental to their potential to run a enterprise.
These are a few of the conclusions of a voluntary survey performed over a one-week interval earlier this yr.
The survey was produced by a downtown property proprietor involved in regards to the results of what they name a “protected injection web site” opened by Inside Well being on the nook of Pandosy and Leon Avenue two years in the past.
In line with the outcomes of the survey introduced to the Downtown Kelowna Affiliation board, most stated they don’t really feel protected working downtown.
A complete of 133 individuals who work inside a 500-metre radius of the well being unit stuffed out the survey questionnaire, together with 97 inside a 250-metre stroll.
Of these, 45 had been enterprise or property house owners and 87 workers. Twenty are connected to the retail trade, 23 to the service trade, and 14 in meals or leisure.
Different considerations by these responding embody:
- Folks regularly getting into companies for non-business causes
- Excessive charges of incidents and vandalism
- Perceived to draw gangs and violence to the realm
- A sense IH and town weren’t clear in regards to the opening of the location and haven’t made adequate efforts to handle it
Proponents of the survey stated they hoped the outcomes would assist advocate for a greater answer for the unhoused and/or people with substance use issues who desperately want IH companies and systemic assist.
Danielle Cameron, govt director of Medical Operations for Inside Well being, says she will not be shocked by the outcomes of the survey, saying it exhibits the challenges the group is dealing with in the case of supporting a few of our most susceptible members.
“The challenges in our group have modified considerably since we opened that clinic (March 2021), and we’re seeing issues presently which can be reflective of that, each within the neighbourhood of the clinic in addition to all through different areas of the downtown core and scattered all through different areas,” stated Cameron.
She says the variety of individuals needing to shelter open air and on the lookout for locations to spend their time has grown considerably since they opened the doorways, making these companies inside attain of susceptible individuals extra essential now than ever.
“Being downtown and inside strolling distance to different companies permits purchasers quick access to well being companies,” she stated.
“Since opening, OUH has offered medical and preventive companies that meet the precise wants of the downtown inhabitants.”
Cameron says the clinic is saving lives.
Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas stated in a press release he has met with enterprise house owners and shared lots of their considerations and frustrations.
“I heard about employees who really feel unsafe at instances, the excessive price of vandalism and theft, and shops that now preserve their doorways locked at instances,” wrote Dyas.
“I heard that extra must be performed for these fighting the results of untreated and sophisticated well being, psychological well being and substance use points.
“Most significantly, I heard that companies wish to work with us to see change. All of us need a thriving, protected downtown core.”