Letter: Bowlers could find room for Richmond non-profits

Dear Editor,

Re: ”Non-profits risk homelessness,” News, May 30.

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I read with interest your article regarding the challenges associated with finding adequate and affordable space for non-profits.

One of those non-profits scrambling for space is an addiction treatment services society.

The four pillars drug strategy — harm reduction, prevention, treatment and enforcement — was adopted by Vancouver city council in 2001.

For many years, harm reduction, including implementation of injection sites, has been the main focus of this drug strategy — prevention and treatment woefully lacking.

At this point in time, an addictions treatment opportunity for Richmond (largely funded by the province) should be welcome, considering the increasing number of drug addicts and the epidemic of drug deaths.

Richmond city council should take every opportunity to facilitate and support non-profit initiatives, addiction treatment services being one example.

So how predictable, that at the recent council meeting, a majority of councillors voted for a single purpose facility on city land — a new clubhouse for lawn bowling — rather than something larger to accommodate other uses such as office space to support some of these non-profits with less than market lease rates.

Come to think of it, Mayor Brodie, perhaps the 22,000 sq. ft. house that was allowed to be built on ALR land, and at the time “opposed” by some councillors as you so aptly pointed out (“New clubhouse slated for Minoru Park,” News, May 30) may be just the ticket for the urgently needed addiction facility.

Sarcasm aside, council needs to take a more “out of the box” approach to the non-profits’ dire situation.

N. McDonald


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