Lack of notice for proposed safe consumption site brings anxiety for residents
Residents of 241 Simcoe Street want a say in the safe consumption site planned for their apartment complex, after receiving almost no notice.
They are speaking out after most learned about the plan just an hour before a formal announcement was made.
Resident Stephanie Dolan says, "We were all told that there was no choice. We didn't have any say in the matter and that made a lot of us angry."
She adds that the people who live in the London and Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC) building have often felt overlooked.
However, working with the corporation they have now formed a tenant advisory committee, which Dolan says is bringing residents together.
LMHC CEO Josh Browne says "We want to be a provider that actually comes alongside people that live in our buildings."
He adds that more than 20 community agencies have shown interest in adding to the safe consumption and drug treatment centre – part of a push for ‘wrap-around’ services.
"This is about saving lives. This is about coming together as a community, using housing as a foundation to really make a difference,” Browne says.
But along with the additional services, Dolan wants guarantees that security won’t be compromised.
With demand to move into the building for those needing the safe consumption and drug treatment facilities expected to grow, Browne says current residents who want to leave could potentially be allowed to move to another LMHC facility.
"I believe there's going to be people that actually going to want to move into that building because of the supports that are provided."
The next steps in the process including implementing a legal framework and zoning for the safe consumption site, while ensuring tenants are part of the process.