news release Whispers of Hope

City re-visits notice to Whispers of Hope and BETHS

August 8, 2017

Grand Forks, BC – Council re-visited the timelines in their decision from last week regarding the closure of the City owned building occupied by Whispers of Hope and BETHS. The revised notice will give the societies additional time to plan their transition while enforcing the City’s bylaws and sections of the lease that have lapsed over the last year. The City issued notice today for the soup kitchen, thrift store and emergency shelter to bring their premise into compliance with City bylaws within thirty days, and to maintain the standard set in the lease agreement, or they would be required to vacate the premise. The notice included direction to vacate the property within six months in accordance with the lease agreement.

Last week the City issued a notice to cease operations within 48 hours and to vacate the premise in thirty days in reaction to dozens of complaints from the public and thousands of dollars spent by the City in repairing vandalism in areas around the building. This sparked a debate within the community and the societies about the services provided and the general issue of homelessness, addictions, and mental health. The City’s goal is to reduce behaviour that presents a risk to public safety. This includes interpersonal conflicts (yelling matches or fighting), improper disposal of needles or drug paraphernalia, and damage to property or vandalism.

Questions can be directed to City Hall at (250) 442-8266 or info@grandforks.ca .