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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Greater than 100 individuals protesting the Neighborhood Outreach Centre gathered in entrance of the Shaw Constructing in downtown Charlottetown on Oct. 28.
They carried indicators with slogans that included “our children deserve higher” and “in case you’re not outraged, you’re not paying consideration.”
Their aim is “to close the outreach centre and transfer it some other place,” mentioned one of many protesters who informed the gang she has been attacked a number of occasions.
Carol McDonald, a metropolis employee and one of many audio system addressing the gang, mentioned she would not reside close to the middle however has skilled points associated to it in her downtown office.
“I used to be attacked twice final 12 months down in entrance of the legislative (constructing) that they are engaged on, and nothing was ever completed.”
She doesn’t need the centre to be utterly closed however she needs to see it go some other place.
“We’re not out to hurt the individuals which are homeless,” she mentioned. “Get the correct staffing to assist them and have all people in the neighborhood really feel secure.”
The rally got here two days after MLAs holding a legislative committee about homelessness heard from a number of presenters calling for modifications to the outreach centre.
That included options to shut or relocate the centre.
Over 100 individuals gathered in entrance of the Shaw Constructing, in downtown Charlottetown to protest the outreach centre on Oct. 28. Their aim is ‘to close the outreach centre and transfer it some other place,’ mentioned one of many protesters.#pei @PEIGuardian pic.twitter.com/hnzG2vEdOS
— Vivian (@vivian_ulinwa) October 28, 2023
Throughout the Oct. 28 rally, comparable points had been raised, together with from one other protester who mentioned she chased away from her property one of many outreach centre customers after he had stripped. Hailey Gallant mentioned it makes her scared for her daughter.
“She’s not secure in her yard anymore and we had two males break into the again of our home when my daughter and my mom had been in watching a film collectively,” Gallant mentioned.
“My life and my 60-year-old mom’s life has been threatened a number of occasions each day for the final two and a half years,” she mentioned whereas additionally addressing the gang.
Gallant expressed her frustration and acknowledged the concern of those that can’t converse out and mentioned she is standing up for them, together with her seven-year-old daughter.
“It was once an important neighborhood, however I don’t know. Even my very own dad and mom who’ve lived there for over 35 years are pondering possibly we must always promote and get out of this neighborhood. If I didn’t have my seven-year-old daughter to combat for I don’t know the place I’d be.”
Charlottetown mayor Philip Brown was additionally current on the protest.
“I’ve to say that this protest was very peaceable. I feel the audio system made it fairly clear that they need this facility closed,” Brown mentioned in an interview with SaltWire.
The outreach centre property is owned and operated by the province not the Metropolis of Charlottetown, he mentioned.
“However as a metropolis, we’re liable for the zoning improvement bylaw, or the land use, and the land use that’s there proper now permits for this group centre to be there,” Brown mentioned.
“We’ve got been attempting to work with the native operator, and that is the Journey Group, to seek out what are their tasks and to make sure that they’re serving the wants of the shoppers that do use that facility.”
Brown mentioned these points fall throughout the province’s jurisdiction, together with the departments of Well being and Wellness, Social Improvement, and Abilities P.E.I.
“They’ve the assets in place. We’re not liable for well being and schooling. These are provincial. These are constitutional tasks that the province has. This problem is a psychological well being disaster. It is a drug habit disaster. It is a misuse of alcohol disaster. It is an unemployment disaster,” he mentioned.
Vivian Ulinwa is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. She might be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and adopted on X @vivian_ulinwa.