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

Moose wintering in Salmon Arm should be appreciated from a distance

Deep snow driving animals into more densely inhabited valley bottoms

Nearly 12,000 children living in poverty throughout Okanagan: report

BC Child Poverty Report Card includes stats for Central and North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen

Shuswap men targeted in police ‘high risk’ search remain in custody

Bail hearing tentatively set for Feb. 4 in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm

Parents unhappy mould issue at Sicamous school not made public sooner

School District #83 says clean up of trouble areas will address air quality concerns

Fair pay? Revelstoke council seeks wage similar to Salmon Arm counterparts

Neighbouring mountain town pursues different path to increase remuneration

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

Construction activity in RDOS tops $48 million

Total of 527 building permits issued within Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen in 2019

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

RDOS budget videos available online

Budget must be completed by March 31

North Okanagan youth mental health services boosted by RBC

$50,000 grant gives youth greater access to services

Funding approved for conservation projects in South Okanagan and Similkameen

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen provides funds for nine projects

New U.S. LNG terminal near northwestern B.C. town proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Most Read