In 2014, the City of Vancouver turned a former Quality Inn into interim housing for the homeless. The City’s plan, which angered many local residents, included leasing the building for two years, before it’s demolished for redevelopment.
A number of the residents at the Inn at False Creek came from the tent city at Oppenheimer Park, which the city shut down in 2014.
At the time, neighbours protested loudly about the presence of a homeless hotel. Today, the lane behind the hotel is mostly clean, protests have died down, and complaints have dwindled, but some issues remain.
“When you got addicts…people that have different issues and you get them all together and you don’t have anybody who knows how to control it,” Inn resident Herry Jerome Covington said. “When people do try to step in it just ends up in…chaos.”
Last summer, residents were temporarily forced out of the hotel after heavy rain caused flooding and shut down the building’s electrical system.
While there are issues, many residents say they are happy living at the hotel.
Residents of the Inn at False Creek have been told they have to move out by November as the building is set to be demolished to make way for condos.
Some residents are heading to hotels on Kingsway. Residents have been told they will be getting help from the Carnegie Outreach Centre.
A similar plan to convert a hotel into a temporary shelter is stirring controversy in Maple Ridge.
A group of residents are gathering on Saturday to “fight back” after the province made the recent decision to renovate a former hotel to accommodate the city’s homeless.
Along with creating a Facebook page, Protecting Maple Ridge, to organize the rally, the group has started a petition to “stop the move of the homeless shelter to the Quality Inn.” The petition already has 500 signatures.
– With files from John Daly and Paula Baker