Busby neighbours see agreement on one of their concerns: a privacy fence

“We must always be working to address the root causes of these issues like mental illness, poverty, and trauma to name a few. This won’t happen overnight, so we also need to find short-term solutions to ensure we can all live happy, healthy lives.” – Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin

A petition from residents living near the David Busby Street Centre raising noise and behaviour concerns has resulted in agreement on two short-term actions, says Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin.
One of the solutions asked for by the residents in the petition is for a fence along the frontage of MacDonald Street. According to Aylwin, that’s in the works.
“I’ve met with the executive director of the David Busby Centre, Sara Peddle, as well as residents in the area surrounding the Centre. We all agree on two short-term actions that can be taken to improve the situation,” he told City Scene Barrie.
“The first is to install a fence to ensure that the participants in (the) Busby programming have privacy and space to gather as a community. The second action is to form a Community Liaison Committee where neighbours of the Busby, participants in Busby programs, staff from the Centre, Barrie police, and other stakeholders can continue to work together to address concerns. We are moving quickly to act on these two items while working to find other short-term and long-term solutions.”
Residents living near the centre on Mulcaster Street had an open delegation before the city building committee, Tuesday night, raising what they say are noise and behaviour concerns. The petition says residents are worried the situation will be worsened by the proposed introduction of a safe injection site. The petition was signed by 56 residents.
“We are the downtown residents and property owners surrounding the building in which the (centre) is located. We understand that a safe injection site is under consideration to be located immediately next door to the (centre),” reads the petition.
It continues that the residents believe “the addition of the (site) will only exacerbate the problems we are experiencing with the civility of the people who use the (centre’s) services. These problems have become insurmountable, dangerous and threatening to all of us, and need to be addressed immediately.”
The petition continues that for the residents the “situation has become disabling and debilitating, affecting our reasonable right to live safely and peaceably. It goes on to say that the “emotional and mental health” of residents “are at risk.”
The petition lays out a list of noise and behaviour concerns, and also “proposed solutions for working together to create a safer neighbourhood.”
In addition to the short-term actions, Aylwin says it is important to remember why services like the Busby centre are needed.
“We are facing a homelessness and opioid overdose crisis right now in Barrie. With these complex issues there will of course be challenges that we need to address. We need to remember that people who are experiencing homelessness, or living in poverty, or dealing with addiction are human beings that deserve respect and compassion. Everyone deserves to live a life of dignity. 
“We must always be working to address the root causes of these issues like mental illness, poverty, and trauma to name a few. This won’t happen overnight, so we also need to find short-term solutions to ensure we can all live happy, healthy lives.”

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