Vanier Residents Protest Salvation Army ‘Mega-Shelter’ Plan
Over 100 Vanier residents organized outside a local condo building Tuesday, July 18, to protest a planned Salvation Army ‘mega-structure’ planned for the area.
“We’re here for personal reasons and for our community. We’re scared and a bit angry that this has happened secretly. But we’re mostly scared about what’s happening,” said Therrien, 25, who bought a house in the neighborhood two years ago.
A private meeting was happening inside 200 Lafontaine Ave. between the condo’s board and residents and members of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army announced plans last week to build a 9,600-square-metre multi-purpose facility that would feature a medical facility, addiction services, day programs and an emergency shelter. The building will have 350 beds available for the homeless.
Although the Vanier community has almost 3 times the social services other communities in Ottawa has, Rachel Robillard, who lived in Vanier her whole life, claims that the community will be ghettoized if the shelter is built.
“I’m not here against homelessness, I believe that everybody has a right to a home,” she said. “I just don’t think this is the solution and also there has been no public consultation.”
“Ultimately it’s up to the community, the stakeholders, the taxpayers to rally and get together,” Robillard said.