It’s not all success outside Langley homeless shelter

People who live near the shelter have concerns about crime, public safety.

Editor: In response to all the politicians and well-wishers attending the Gateway of Hope’s fifth anniversary celebration all patting each other on the back (The Times, Dec. 9), there is another side of the story.

I will not take away the good works and goals of the Salvation Army, but the location and other concerns when dealing with the types of individuals who need this facility, as was predicted in the public meetings held prior to its construction, have all come true and continue to exist.

Local residents experienced and still experience the predicted crimes. There’s nothing like coming out to your car in the morning, only to find a window smashed in and car rummaged through, or finding your patio furniture or barbecue missing, or some attempt to get into the unit.

Kids walking to school and parents watching their children at Dumais Park have to watch the drug drops occur, and look out for syringes or broken beer bottles. Perhaps the sight of the scruffy individual with the squeaky wheel grocery cart rummaging through the recycle bins or drugged-out kids spraying graffiti on nearby walls and fences is something we want them to see.

There’s nothing like taking the kids or the dog for a walk around the Meadows nature path to catch a glimpse of the wild life. I don’t mean the ducks, I mean the homeless sleeping in makeshift huts or the evidence of the same; needles, trash, and discarded clothing.

The award-winning upscale downtown area has in the five years greatly deteriorated from the once-beautiful  vista and, quoting the City mantra, “the place to be.” People get tired of calling the police due to response times and the lack of repercussions placed on the offenders.

The homeless  who do not like the programs or expectations offered at the Gateway to Hope (One homeless alcoholic man referred it to The Gateway to Hell)  are found sleeping in the nearby woods, breaking into electrical rooms, or another convenient dry spot, to await the meals offered at the centre. The nearby residents are recipients of the aftermath.

So for all the good works, there was a price. One that the Meadows residents continue to pay for.

Bruce Kilby,

Langley