Letter to Council re: Restricting Sheltering in Cridge Park

Mayor and Council City of Victoria No.1 Centennial Square Victoria, BC V8W 1P6

March 30, 2016

Re: Restricting Sheltering in Cridge Park

Dear Mayor and Council,

The Victoria Downtown Residents’ Association (DRA) appreciates, and fully supports the City’s efforts to provide housing and support services to meet the needs of our local homeless population. We realize that the lack of housing is a genuine crisis in need of immediate action.

The DRA has considered the proposed by-law amendment which would restrict overnight sheltering by the homeless in a number of small City parks. Cridge Park, located in our downtown neighbourhood, is one of the parks under consideration for the by-law change.

In warmer weather, residents who live in close proximity to Cridge Park are often negatively impacted by late-night noise from those sheltering overnight in the park, and some park users have expressed concern that the park is not a safe environment for children and pets due to discarded needles, human waste and other debris. In recent weeks however, with many of the homeless sheltering elsewhere, there has been a marked decrease in overnight sheltering in Cridge Park. Consequently, the local daycare has resumed using the park on a daily basis, and local residents are again frequenting the park with their children and their dogs.

The DRA believes that restricting overnight sheltering in Cridge Park is an appropriate and justifiable step to address concerns about Cridge Park, and other small parks in the City.

Sincerely, Nicholas Harrington Kaela Schramm Co-Chairs Downtown Residents Association

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