The former Youth Detention Centre in View Royal has been converted to temporary housing for the region’s homeless. Wednesday’s meeting aims to allow for any concerns to be voiced.

Meeting aims to engage stakeholders on homeless shelter in View Royal

Public and assorted agencies to discuss concerns and goals

Our Place Society is hosting a community meeting Wednesday (March 23) at View Royal municipal hall, 45 View Royal Ave., at 7 p.m. to provide an update and hear feedback regarding the Choices Transitional Home temporary shelter.

Don Evans, executive director for Our Place Society, will offer information and answer questions from the public regarding the facility, which opened in February at the former youth custody centre on Talcott Road.

Evans sent a draft neighbourhood agreement to different agencies on March 16, including View Royal mayor and council, the West Shore RCMP and Eagle View elementary. The agreement’s aims are to provide a means for View Royal residents, Eagle View staff, students and parents and workers and residents of the shelter to work effectively together so everyone may enjoy comfort and safety within the neighbourhood.

View Royal Mayor David Screech is glad that Our Place is reaching out to the surrounding neighbourhood and Eagle View elementary school. “The exchange of information and ideas is important for all involved,” he noted.

Grant Mckenzie, director of communications for Our Place Society, said while there has been no complaints or incidents so far, the open house is a great opportunity for people to catch up on what’s going on. “Everyone seems interested to see how it’s working out,” he said. “It seems the (approximately 50) people there like to be where they are.”

The agreement calls for clear and honest communication, the addressing of concerns and problems in a positive and timely manner, respectful engagement with neighbours in resolving issues, and a commitment to follow through on agreed upon actions.

According to the draft, the RCMP has committed to providing a community resource officer, increased presence as resources permit, and will work collaboratively with neighbourhood groups to provide crime prevention while maintaining acceptable standards of safety in the neighbourhood.

Const. Alex Berube, media officer for the West Shore RCMP, said they have been working with their partners to ensure Choices Transitional Home’s successful integration into the community.

McKenzie said he’s not aware of any plans to extend use of the facility beyond the original six months agreed upon at this time.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

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