Editor: When you think of Cloverdale you think of the Cloverdale Rodeo, the Christmas parade and many other longtime attractions that bring a small community close. Outsiders come to these events wanting to take in the wholesome, small community feel that Cloverdale brings.
I have grown up in this community for the past 26 years of my life. Myself and others in this small community realize that it is full of young families as well as the elderly that have been here most of their lives. There are concerns regarding the proposal of the homeless housing in the heart of Cloverdale.
Cloverdale is not the place for homeless housing to be built. There is a vacant, very big (300,000 square foot) building that I personally believe would make the best homeless housing around. It’s close to Surrey Memorial Hospital as well as the police station, so if anything arose it could be dealt with fast.
Not only could it provide hundreds of people with a roof over their head, there would be plenty of room to have a soup kitchen, so the homeless would be able to have at least one good meal a day. It could also be used as a safe injection site to try and limit the amount of needles that are being left all over our beautiful city of Surrey. This building is located near 142 Street and 104 Avenue, about a five-minute drive down the road from the fairly new city hall.
According to records, there are approximately 602 homeless people in Surrey. Out of those 602 just over 200 of them are living on the streets, the rest are in housing units. With that being said, this building would be more than capable of housing those 200 people as well as have room for any growth in the future homeless population.
The majority of the homeless people were removed from their community known as tent city, which was familiar to them. The building on 104 Avenue would keep them close to the community they already know.
The location of this proposal in Cloverdale should instead be used as low-income housing units for elderly individuals, who struggle to live on their monthly pension. It would make more sense, especially for those who have lived in cloverdale most of their life. They would appreciate to enjoy the last of their life in the community they love so much and have many years of memories in. Not only are homeless numbers growing, but the number of elderly residents is growing as well, due to the fact that people have a longer lifespan. The government and city need to focus on that issue as well.
There already isn’t and definitely won’t be enough retirement homes and low-income housing for elderly in the future, let alone now.