The David Busby Street Centre and its closest neighbours might just see eye-to-eye yet, with a private amenities space in the works.
Staff from the centre have been meeting with area residents to look for solutions to concerns raised. “There were some concerns with noise, people hanging around the outside of the building, on the street, on the sidewalk,” says Councillor Keenan Aylwin who has been serving as a sort of mediator between the two sides, “and there really isn’t a defined area for people to go outside.”
An earlier notion to erect a fence was later dismissed, bringing everyone back to the drawing board. “We wanted to find a solution that was dignified and compassionate, and so we didn’t go with a fence, because we were worried about the message that sends,” added Aylwin.
“CMHA (the Canadian Mental Health Association, which owns the property) will be moving forward with creating an outdoor amenity space for participants in Busby’s programming,” says Aylwin, “so they’ve got a dignified space to call their own, and that will also, I believe, go a long way to address neighbours’ concerns.” The private area will be at the back parking lot of the property and provide some separation between the participants at Busby and the residents nearby.