Important meeting tonight

I'd like to mention an important meeting tonight.

There will be a public hearing on a rezoning application, 6 p.m. at Kelowna City Hall, regarding a supportive housing build (Agassiz in Kelowna).

It's one more supportive housing building to be added to several existing supportive housing stock scattered around town. However, the big noise is that there has been some very fierce opposition to this project by people in the immediate neighbourhood. I've seen opposition before (actually every time supportive housing is announced, which always dissipates when these buildings are built and they blend and integrate into the community). 

City Hall will be full with people. Yet it's public and you're welcome to go. However, encouraging voices are needed.

Here's what I know. I consider myself sufficiently versed about supportive housing. I don't live too far from one. I’ve worked by other supportive housing buildings for 10 years. I know the private businesses open to the public under these buildings who support them, I see the hundreds of children who walk by them every day, and I personally know the people in these building.

I also know they are absolutely safe. If anything, they run the risk of being shockingly boring and uneventful yet very successful at keeping people happy and housed. What more can you ask for with housing?

Whoever tells you otherwise, is unfamiliar in this area and their opinions are 100 per cent based on  misinformation, not evidence or reality.

I don’t work for JHS housing, but do I work with so many individuals within supportive housing day-in and day-out. They're the best people. They don't deserve to be treated like vile and unsavory predators, pedophiles, and outcasts who can't live in society and will steal from grandma.

These are normal people in our community who you might stand next to in the checkout line at the grocery story. 

We're too deep in a very serious housing crisis, to be creating barriers based on misinformation.

Elliot Penner

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