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Posted: January 19, 2021

Virtual hearing on proposed homeless shelter set

City of Cranbrook council last night agreed to receive an administrative staff report and set a date for a virtual public hearing for homeless shelter proposed for 2nd Street N.

Receipt of the Report On Overview of Homeless Population & Proposed Shelter Location followed a BC Housing delegation presentation.

Nanette Drobot

Nanette Drobot and Danna Locke appeared as a delegation to council Jan. 18 to discuss the proposed homeless shelter location and answer questions.  The presentation was a follow up to the virtual public information session, hosted by BC Housing on January 13. See the PowerPoint presentation here.

Both speakers said they believe the proposed location is suitable because it is central, provides connectivity of a variety of necessary services and there is room to plan wisely.

“I don’t doubt the location and services that are there and trust me those people do a great service for the community – all of them – they do a real bang up job for what we need here,” said Mayor Lee Pratt following the presentation.

Danna Locke

“Did BC Housing go to RFP for proposal so that somebody may have a better permanent location available, that would provide everything you require for the shelter? And secondly, if that’s a possibility, it might become a reality and I think that we can’t get hung up on the convenience aspect of it. We have to look at the big picture here. It’s not just because it’s convenient for the vulnerable population because a lot of citizens live and deal with stuff because it’s not convenient to them,” he told the virtual delegation.

Location/siting for such facilities “is always controversial” in every community she’s worked, Drobot noted.

The mayor explained the volume of questions, some “tough,” being asked by members of council about the shelter and the rezoning “is due diligence” and isn’t meant as disrespectful.

“I just want to make it clear; we’re not against a shelter. We’re discussing the rezoning and is it the proper location, or should we wait and get a permanent shelter and address all the needs, and not just 40 people.”

Drobot said the questions “are ones we usually get and they are appropriate.”

Council voted to host a virtual public hearing on the proposed homeless shelter on Monday, February 1 at 6 p.m.

Details on how to pre-register to speak at the virtual public hearing will be released later this week. Members of the public will also be able to watch the public hearing on the city’s website at www.cranbrook.ca/livestream.

Subsequently, council rescheduled the regular meeting of council, originally set for February 1 to Monday, February 8 beginning at 6 p.m.

View the presentation and detailed council discussion following it. It runs from the start of the video to about 1:22:30. Council discussion on the report follows shortly after.

Read the full overview of Cranbrook’s Homeless population and the proposed new shelter, prepared by Paul Heywood of Engineering and Development Services.

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