Comox Valley seniors express concerns over ‘The Junction’ supportive housing complex

Some Comox Valley seniors are saying they don’t feel safe living next door to The Junction supportive housing complex.

At Monday’s council meeting, two representatives, Kris Anderson and Pamela Willis presented to council some worries and concerns of those living in the Kiwanis Seniors Village.

Some of those concerns included enduring theft, verbal and physical assaults, intrusions into their personal spaces, and nighttime noises that disrupt sleep.

The two also explained that residents have reported regularly witnessing alarming behaviours that include drug dealing, sexual activity, violence, drug-facilitated psychoses and individuals who are passed out and unresponsive.

The Kiwanis Seniors Village is next door to The Junction, which is an adult supportive housing program funded by BC Housing and operated by The John Howard Society. The program provides 46 supportive housing units with 24/7 staffing for adults ages 19 and up who are experiencing chronic homelessness.

Comox Valley RCMP Inspector Mike Kurvers took part in the presentation as well.

After listening to the concerns outlined by some of the residents, he explained that the RCMP knows of the ongoing issues, but needs more help from the community to resolve them.

“We’re averaging between 13 and 20 files per month at that location. These are reported offences, so were not accounting for the ones that are not reported and that’s the basis of the discussion. These things have to be reported to us for us to have to acknowledge it and to actually respond to it.”

The inspector also said that the best way to combat the illegal activities is to simply report it, at any time of the day or night.

“(In) January we had no calls, this April we only had two calls to Kiwanis. This shows me that it’s under-reported so we need that dialogue from the community there to call that into us so we can respond to it.”

“We document everything, so if we can get the community to call us, it doesn’t matter if it’s three in the morning, two in the morning, call us and we’ll try to get to it.”

The inspector added that at any meeting in the future regarding concerns between the Kiwanis Seniors Village and the Junction, he will make sure a representative of the RCMP will be present.

Both Kris and Pamela highlighted that moving forward, they would also like the city to designate a councillor to work with them to improve the quality of life for Kiwanis seniors and their neighbours.

Because this was a presentation, more discussion on the issues, including ways to combat the situation, will take place at later council meetings.

To see the full statements from the Kiwanis residents, or to view the response from city council and the Comox Valley RCMP, visit the City of Courtenay’s website.