Your say on cart seizures

There was no shortage of reaction to our story concerning the seizure of shopping carts from homeless men and women on Leon Avenue.

City of Kelowna bylaw officers made those seizures on Wednesday following complaints the number of carts were blocking both the sidewalks and roadway in front of the Gospel Mission.

Reaction was mixed between readers who thought the city was too heavy handed and those who said it's about time.

A few even offered solutions.

"How about a proactive solution; the homeless people will most likely retain these shopping carts again and the cycle will continue. Perhaps providing backpacks for these individuals is something to consider?" was one solution put forward by Kitkate.

Irdis suggested: "I saw a helpful solution to this in Vancouver last week. There is a place at the United church on Hastings where people with no home can store their possessions in plastic Tubs with a lid (up to 50 pounds). They check in every day to ensure they still are around and can access their belongings at any time by asking at the desk. It's dry, safe and secure and means that they don't need to carry their possessions around in carts."

Many though were pointing fingers in one direction or another.

"Kelowna bylaws should be ashamed. Nice, take their carts, kick them when they're down, then fine the hard-working people trying to them get on their feet. Yep, nice move Kelowna," offered up Marcy Lee.

"Kick a man while they're down; it's disgraceful. Anyone this close to being homeless. It's a cart not a car. Maybe they should apply for refugee status, they'll get a lot more help from Kelowna. I wouldn't sleep at night if I was the one that had to take a cart away," said Sherry.

"I don't know how anyone could go that low to take away anything from the homeless. Safety issues, my foot. It's spring/summer tourist season coming and the city wants to hide its problems from the rich tourists so they will dump more money into making the rich richer here. Give these people their own wagons at least so they can keep their belongings," stated Joan Day.

Others sided with the city.

"Great start! Finally something being done about the mess on Leon. Time to clean up downtown so the taxpayers can enjoy it. Next step, move the Gospel Mission somewhere more appropriate. These people could still access the facility if it was moved somewhere less populated. Imagine being able to go to city park without having to watch out for needles," commented 508.

John said, "Ask the business owners downtown or staff at the downtown library how they truly feel about the clients of the Kelowna Gospel Mission. Ask the staff at Capri Mall how they feel about the clients from The Inn From The Cold."

While, the concrete truth added, "Why was this not done years ago? If a working person is caught with stolen property, they get arrested on the spot. How about one set of laws for all."

The final word goes to George Klonarakis: "All of you posting from the warm confines of your homes that take issue with the carts being used by homeless people are indicative of the way of thinking that will ensure the homeless issue will never be resolved. Homeless people have, and are still, using carts as their only means of storing their entire existence in virtually every city on earth ever since there were carts."

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