We, neighbours, businesses and school parents got together last year out of serious concerns we had regarding BC Housing and Cool-Aid’s plan to house more than 100 of tent city residents in the Mt Edwards building which is located a mere 18 steps from the K-8 school, in a quiet residential area.
After a lot of pressure from the neighbourhood and school parents, BC Housing purchased another building to house the tent city folks: the old Central Care Home located in the 800 block of Pandora. The new building opened last August – almost a year ago now- and has brought mayhem to the neighborhood ever since.
It turns out we were right all along: what happened at Central Care Home is EXACTLY what we told BC Housing and Cool-Aid would happen, but no one believed us. Instead, Cool-Aid adhered (and still does) to the idiom that people “magically transform” once housed. Well, it’s not the case. Residents of Central Care Home went on to kill a complete stranger, unprovoked, a young unsuspecting man from Quebec who was visiting Victoria. Another resident was shooting a pellet gun at cars driving down Johnson street from within his room! A woman was injured as her windshield got smashed from the random attack.
The drugs and the crime in the neighbourhood got so bad that VicPD had to set a walking patrol, a police beat, to try and tackle the rampant issues. The problems are still ongoing to this day and neighbours are afraid to walk in their own neighbourhood.
This is what we narrowly avoided last year. Remember, this was designed to come to Mt Edwards. Instead,they agreed to cap the number of residents to 38, and after issues arose after the new neighbours moved in, BC Housing agreed to pay for security agents to “push away” crime from the Mt Edwards vicinity.
But now BC Housing and Cool-Aid are back at it. They have come back with another plan to install close to 100 homeless people at Mt Edwards.