The provincial government has made good its promise to assist in the creation of a supportive housing project that will help break the cycle of drug dependency for those seeking help.
Now it’s up to city council.
An application to rezone a property at Young Road and Hocking will come before city council next week. It’s expected the application will be sent to public hearing – the next step in the approval process.
Undoubtably there will be concern. These kinds of projects often draw suspicion, especially from those who might live or work in the vicinity.
But it is a project that is overdue, and is essential if Chilliwack hopes to address the issue of chronic drug use in the city and the criminal activity it perpetuates.
The concept behind the “Contact Centre” is not new, and the Mayor and city councillors are well acquainted with its philosophy.
Fundamental to the care model advocated by the Pacific Community Resources Society is that those seeking help truly want to shake loose the shackles of their drug addiction.
What the Contact Centre will do is provide them with the tools necessary in assisting them to remain drug free.
This is important. One of the biggest challenges drug-dependent people have in extricating themselves from their lifestyle is having a dependable support structure in place that prevents them from sliding back into that lifestyle. Too often people who decide to leave the drug life find themselves living in its midst only because there are no longer-term alternatives.
That’s bad news for the individuals, but its also bad news for the community as a whole. Chronic drug use is one of the biggest sources of crime we know. Every addict who stays clean and manages to reintegrate into society is one less person likely to break into homes, turn to prostitution, or rob convenience stores to pay for his or her habit.
The province is obviously convinced. It’s investing $3 million in the project.
What’s needed now is for council to provide the proper rezoning.
~ Greg Knill, Chilliwack Progress