Dena Bairbash helped organize residents of Kelowna’s north end in efforts to petition the city to readdress the recently-moved location of Kelowna’s homeless camp near Knox Mountain. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

Dena Bairbash helped organize residents of Kelowna’s north end in efforts to petition the city to readdress the recently-moved location of Kelowna’s homeless camp near Knox Mountain. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

Knox Mountain, north end Kelowna residents gather to petition city over homeless camp relocation

Concerned residents organized Saturday morning in downtown Kelowna

The ramifications of the City of Kelowna’s decision to move the Leon Avenue homeless camp to Kelowna’s north end has concerned residents speaking out.

On Saturday morning at a restuarant at the Kelowna Innovation Centre, Knox Mountain neighbours and other residents of the north end met to discuss and share their confusion over the city’s decision.

While various speakers acknowledged the difficulty when it comes to homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness, a petition was started to lobby the city to find a better place for people experiencing homelessness to live.

“We don’t have the answers, we’re just starting with our mountain,” said petition organizer Dena Bairbash.

“We’re starting to make sure that our mountain is kept safe and sound and petitioning the city allows to get us in front of council and show them that we were kind of side-swiped with how this happened and we want to make sure that they can see the numbers of people that are here and we deserve a right for transparency.”

READ MORE: Kelowna’s homeless unhappy with temporary overnight shelter situation

READ MORE: Knox Mountain area residents hold protest over homeless camp move

The City of Kelowna moved the homeless tent camp on Leon Avenue to two sites in the north end on Nov. 25. While the Knox Mountain site has not been used as much as the second site on Recreation Avenue next to the Kelowna Curling Club, residents are want assurances the city will keep its promises the new sites are temporary.

Various speakers at Saturday morning’s gathering shared their concern and outrage that there was no warning of the sites coming to their neighbourhood and no guarantees have been made from the city they will be temporary.

“We care about our community,” said Bairbash.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support, I think it’s incredible that we have this many here. We had 20 people and that grew to almost 150 people. I think that it’s more than people just from the north end, these are people from all over Kelowna and other places. Everyone loves that mountain.”

Bairbash, and the Downtown Knox Mountain Association, said Knox is a welcoming place but the city’s ill-conceived decision needs to be addressed and that both the city and the province of B.C. need to come up with better options to help the homeless population and keep the nearby communities safe.

“It’s not an ‘us versus them’ problem. It’s a city problem,” said one concerned speaker.

Information on the petition to the City of Kelowna can be forwarded to saveknoxmountain@yahoo.ca.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland affordable housing proposal opposed

“For a building that will change the dynamic of a small town, I would have expected more discussion.”

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Summerland’s municipal council will proceed with a four per cent property tax increase this year, but the deadlines for property tax payment have been extended. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland councillor’s letter to media draws disappointment from colleagues

Statements about solar project did not violate ethical or conduct standards

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read