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“Instead of shunning them aside and making our personal judgments, I think we need to step into this and say, ‘How do we help you?’” Another independent, Kashmir Besla, echoed that, suggesting many don’t understand who homeless people are.“People don’t even know there’s something existing there.But going to people with more information about projects like that will help.She expressed her pride that the city housed 220 people off of 135A Street in three days this summer, and that the city brought forward “over 600 units of housing over the last four years.” Safe Surrey Coalition council candidate and longtime community advocate Doug Elford expressed his concern about “rentovictions.” Elford said his son suffered such a fate this summer.“The landlord knew he could get double the rent, he was living in a basement suite.Kongyuy said that location was successful but said the city could have consulted with the community more.“In the end, in Guildford, it worked out fine,” said Kongyuy.
The first table the listened in on was about the location of shelters, and how to quickly establish a solution for the homeless.
Le Franc said she had hoped to see all the proposed locations – not just the one site that was made public in Cloverdale – for the 240 permanent homes for the homeless proposed to replace the 160 temporary modular units in Whalley set up this summer.
Le Franc said it would be best to roll out all proposed locales throughout the city, so one community doesn’t feel it’s being singled out.
John Gibeau, running for council with Integrity Now, said he wants to see “purpose-built housing” for the homeless, and said they should “be located all over Surrey, and all town centres with the community’s participation….
No community is 100 per cent going to give its approval.” If elected, Gibeau vowed to immediately focus on getting social housing built “with a component of market housing in it so it sustains itself at the same time.” Surrey First Councillor Vera Le Franc was sitting with Gibeau, when the 60-unit supportive housing project in Cloverdale arose in conversation – a proposal that was opposed by many in the community and as a result, BC Housing withdrew its application.