June 15th, 2024

River Ridge residents oppose nearby supportive housing units


By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on March 2, 2023.

Herald photo - Residents of the River Ridge condominium complex have concerns over further rezoning and development of supportive housing units at the nearby Castle Apartments.

Some residents and board members of the River Ridge condominium complex are pushing back against further rezoning and development at the Castle Apartments. The apartments, located at 221-2 Ave S, are one block east of the River Ridge community and run by the Lethbridge Housing Authority (LHA). The LHA offers supportive housing units in the apartment building and is seeking permission from the City to add more.

A source contacted the Herald with an invitation to speak with a representative before a Feb. 24 ‘residents only’ meeting at River Ridge. No representative was available to go on record, but a resident gave the Herald a copy of an opposition letter that was being sent to city councilors, MLAs, the police chief, the LHA, and the City’s development manager.

The letter identifies itself as coming from retired professionals who have been residents and property owners in the city since 2008. The residents call Lethbridge an ideal community, with “beautiful parks, recreational facilities, and scenic coulees.”

Since moving to River Ridge, the authors of the letter have noticed increasing levels of dysfunction in the downtown core. They say, “Our experiences have been greatly overshadowed by the growing amount of local vagrancy, public begging and harassment, excessive litter, public drug and alcohol use, as well as the prolific proliferation of abandoned needles and other drug paraphernalia-not to mention the presence of public urination and defecation everywhere in our once beautiful downtown district. It is no longer desirable for our local businesses, residents, or tourists. It is no longer safe for most people to enjoy the many beautiful aspects of downtown Lethbridge. Such a shame!”

“Therefore we feel the approval of this application for the 25 beds of supportive housing by (the) LHA will serve to be completely ineffective and prove to be nothing more than a Band-Aid approach to the real problem with homelessness in Lethbridge at this time.” The real problem that the residents identify as addictions and mental health, is in their opinion, best addressed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC). The TRCC receives federal funding and the letter quotes recent city statistics identifying 74 per cent of the city’s homeless population as people of Indigenous heritage.

There are other solutions, according to the River Ridge residents. “We believe that Indigenous persons should be afforded programs whereby they are mentored by experienced Elders of their own community; Indigenous persons who can truly understand the issues and are able to counsel and guide them in their cultural quest to find their true inner spirits, achieve sobriety, and eventually, live a productive way of life.” The letter’s authors assert they have had experience working in the fields of social services, criminal justice, and addiction services.

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biff

should we not corral the indigenous in lethbridge that are addicts, remove them from their culture, and place them in the equivalent of non-culture residential institutions? if one recalls, that approach sure seemed to work out great when we tried that with “schooling.” sure is peachy that the city seems to love those outcomes, rather than support the indigenous plan for dealing with addictions.

Say What . . .

The drugs have rotted your brain! If you think there is a comparison between the two you probably believe the Holocaust never happened and the Jewish people made the whole thing up. Zero to compare in this case!

biff

the news does far more damage to us. that said, it seems you may too sold on your biases and prejudices such that you fail to examine the options. the options have been put out there in this forum by dennis bremner more than enough times. ditto to mtl 13’s comment. please read. dennis has, again, provided the link here. read, explore, read…do try.

Montreal13

What is the Indigenous plan? They abandon too many of them and kick the trouble off the reserve.
Many see the comparisons and possible results that may be made down the road.

Dennis Bremner
Say What . . .

Put it in the park near the Mayor’s home or the park near the Chief of Police.
They seem to like them running around destroying our city and costing of millions of dollars!
Put one next to each for that matter!

buckwheat

The indigenous should look after the indigenous.

Montreal13

Do the haves not share with the have nots, maybe?

knowlton

The City needs to enforce a curfew. If a person isn’t walking home or to work (or another valid reason), then lock them up.

If he/she has a status card as ID and no Lethbridge address, take em home. Non-indigenous are considered trespassing if they’re caught on reserve land, why can’t it go the other way?

Here’s a possible benchmark… Until the Mayor feels safe letting his wife walk downtown at night… the City is unsafe!!

biff

welcome to the brave new world. gotta love an approach that undermines the right of people to be without having to be accountable to the police state. your paperz pleaze! knowlt’s comment at an alarming plus two…the police state is alive and well, or, is that the police state is good when it targets anybody but you.

Dennis Bremner

I am not impressed. This supposed letter is a repeat of the atypical comments that are immediately followed with “I want to be unidentified”.
If you want to make these statements, then at least put a face to them!
Someone should also mention the fact you make these statements identifying the 75% but not what to do with the 25% which makes your comments racist, and will be ignored!
Hiding behind a no name will get us nowhere. I choose not to hide because I believe my Indigenous plan (the one biff refers too https://lethccc.com ) Is not racist and works with the Blood on a mutual problem!
I ensured every step of the way 100% of the people were treated the same way. At no time were there “two groups, one indigenous and one “other”. When discussing the plan with elders I asked if non Indigenous could participate within the retreat. They said yes. All Addicted could decide to take traditional healing or Indigenous Healing and could live at the retreat as practicing addicts.
Using the Racist Card is the easiest way to get an idea shutdown because in this woke society if labelled a Racist you are more likely to get very little support.
So River Ridge, if you want to actually contribute to your society, put a name to your complaint , a spokesperson for your group, otherwise, you just fall into the “Savin Lives, Killing Livelihoods” wastebin ! The good thing, you won’t be alone, my plan is in their too!
As time goes on just because you do not see anything formally happening with the “Community Care Center”(CCC), which even when described, is not just for this community, no one takes the hint.
I will tell you what will happen. By the time this goes in front of council and residents have an input to where this all goes, the infrastructure will have already been built and you will be informed stopping it is too late.
So if residents expect to just sit back until it becomes an agenda item, in a Council Meeting, then you might as well just vote “yes” now to installing all of this into the downtown!
Ask yourself this, why is there no discussion or mention of the only study done by the SSIG? Why is there not little placards with pretty pictures in the lobby of City Hall showing the CCC in the 19 Acres to try to win over your vote? The Official position, is there has been “no decision” where this is going! (seems to be working on the rest of Lethbridge)
If you talk with anyone at City Hall, we are “years out from seeing a CCC in the downtown and what is more, they insist that they do not know where it will go!
When discussing the Agri-Center there were pretty pictures months and months before the actual debate?
Call up City Hall and ask to speak to some one in CSD and ask for the consultant report ($10K of your money) that was done for the SSIG. See if you get it? Its your right to get a copy if you want it. It was tabled at the CSSPC meeting.
Don’t trust my comments, read it yourself. The report has the entire 19 acres fenced, one entrance one exit, and doubling and tripling of security inside the facility to “Protect staff” but ignores what happens to Lethbridge Downtown, when they walk out that entrance! So I guess you assume once the people who are a threat to staff walk out of the CCC its okay because they are just going to shop in the downtown and sing melodies in Galt Gardens?
Stay silent, use no names, lose the downtown, “Savin Lives, Killin Livelihoods”!
I will gladly speak to anyone that cares to listen, that includes you River Ridge. You can reach me through the site above.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dennis Bremner
biff

thank you again for elaborating – and for, again, sharing the link that outlines the city backed non indigenous option, and the far better beginning point of an option, which is the indigenous one. https://lethccc.com/
please check them out, folks.

Montreal13

By “this supposed letter” are you referring to this herald article? What supposed letter or whose do you mean?

buckwheat

There, to me, is a substantial reason why the Council and administration pay little attention to lethccc.com. It would be a good start on a solution. Who wants that when we’re saving lives and can buy cheap real estate. Non profit is a lucrative business and employs many, no initiative to “cure” anything.