Okanagan group offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

Downtown Vernon Association agrees proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) is joining those who wish to inform Interior Health that a proposed overdose prevention site (OPS) in Vernon does not belong downtown.

The DVA, along with other community stakeholders, recently had the opportunity to provide feedback, input suggestions and to directly communicate its Business Improvement Area member (BIA) concerns to Interior Health (IHA) regarding the implementation of an overdose prevention site in Vernon.

The DVA summarized its suggestions and concerns to IHA with a request that the following be genuinely considered during the selection of a third-party service provider and the operation of an OPS:

RELATED: Vernon politicians not all happy about possible OD prevention site

1. That the OPS site not be located within the BIAs. That this medical service is best provided and situated within or near the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“Our understanding of the opioid crisis is that this crisis is a medical crisis, and as such, the most logical location for medical service to address the crisis is at or near a medical facility,” said Susan Lehman, DVA executive director. “The hospital is located within a 10-minute walk of the edge of Vernon’s secondary BIA, where current emergency shelter services currently exist;

2. That should the OPS site be located within the BIAs, that there is a consistent and regular feedback mechanism in place for neighbouring businesses and properties to communicate with the service provider;

3. That the service provider be held to a three-to-six month contract performance review to assure the community that the site is being operated in accordance with the original proposed operational standards;

4. That if additional security measures are required for the safety and security of the surrounding businesses or public spaces, that appropriate measures are immediately taken and that the cost of these measures be that of either IHA or the service provider.

“While the limited studies have not shown an increase in crime statistics (as noted at the May 13 regular Vernon council meeting), we do anticipate that there will be an increase in street-level disorder around a drug-use facility,” said Lehman. “An increase in street-level disorder is quite simply an unacceptable demand to be placed on a business community, at this time, when most businesses and property owners are already doing their utmost best to co-exist within the social constructs that make up a downtown business community.”

RELATED: Vernon chamber members do not want overdose prevention site downtown

Lehman said the DVA is very proud of the level of compassion that most of its business community consistently demonstrates, and has throughout the DVA’s 52 years, to lesser-advantaged and often marginalized groups in Vernon.

“Many of our members donate or provide resources through time, money, stewardship, and/or resources and have a sincere interest in improving the health of our community and their neighbours,” she said. “Our suggestions to IHA are not made lightly nor without tremendous compassion and concern for Vernon’s citizens at-risk. The DVA recognizes that current social issues, including the opioid crisis, can be difficult subjects to discuss. However, we remain committed to working with our community stakeholders in continued conversation, respect of each others ideas or suggestions, and continued advocacy on behalf of DVA members.”

The DVA represents more than 600 commercial property owners and business owners within the Business Improvement Areas of Vernon (downtown) and all are within a 50+ block radius.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Church building has been a landmark on Summerland’s Butler Street

Neighbourhood in Lowertown has gone through changes over the years.

Changing of the guard for South Okanagan midget baseball team

Aqil Samuel is leaving the club and will be replaced by Josh Snider

Clouds Sunday, sunshine and heat Monday

Weather forecast for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen looks spectacular

Okanagan Ogopogo bathtub race fundraising efforts over the top

In five years the Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has raised over $120,000 for SOSM Foundation

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Okanagan MMA fighter captures middleweight belt at home

Jordan Cabrejos scores victory at XFC Unbanned, the return of mixed martial arts to Vernon

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Most Read