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

COLUMN: Using technology to slow the spread of COVID-19

A newly developed national app has the potential to help in the fight against the pandemic

Princeton embarks on childcare needs study

How challenging is it to find daycare in Princeton? That’s a question… Continue reading

Morning Start: Women can give birth after they die

Your morning start for Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

Morning Start: The Exorcist film set was haunted

Your morning start for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Federal Conservative leadership candidate skirts COVID-19 rules at Kelowna rally

Derek Sloan held a rally in Kelowna that had more than 50 people, which is against health orders from the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

South Okanagan restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Most Read