West Kelowna  

Alleged incidents tied to homeless concern to some in Rose Valley

Shelter leads to anxiety

A number of incidents allegedly tied to the homeless population around a cold weather shelter on Stevens Road has caused some concerns among residents in Rose Valley.

The Rose Valley community Facebook page chronicled a number of these incidents, including Monday's "lock and hold" at Hudson Road elementary due to an unstable person and a disturbing incident at the nearby A&W on the same day.

Another incident Wednesday involved the removal of a person from a walk-in clinic after that person apparently locked themselves in a bathroom to do drugs.

Kevin Hill, administration and operations manager with the West Kelowna Shelter Society which runs the Stevens Road shelter said he was aware of the incident at the A&W, but said the person involved was not a client.

He says that individual suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and is not welcome at the shelter.

"In most cases, that is actually worse than the addiction. If we can ever get them detoxed off the addiction, they still have to deal with the FAS which is quite debilitating," said Hill.

"The reason we can't have him in our facility is because he is severely disabled with FAS, and has no concept of right or wrong."

Hill says the society does monitor its perimeter extensively to keep people such as drug dealers away.

"We have a pretty good idea who the dealers are in the area, and they know they're not allowed anywhere near one of our sites.

"If we even see them drive by, we make a call to the police."

Hill says he does sympathize with residents who may be fearful of some of the people at the shelter, saying he wouldn't want some of them in his neighbourhood.

The shelter is only temporary, and is scheduled to close at the end of March.

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