Tempers flare at packed meeting over homeless shelters

Vancouver police officers blocked the doors of a packed public meeting Wednesday night to discuss two new shelters as nearly 100 frustrated residents were turned away.

Angry residents confronted city officials at the meeting, which discussed plans for two new shelters to house the homeless near the north end of the Granville Street Bridge.

Some residents told CTV News that shelters already operating in the area cause serious issues and they’re concerned about others opening.

“We’ve got used condoms, we've got people defecating in the park," said Mark Schullof.

Many who turned up at the meeting hoped to convince the city not to turn the old Quality Inn on Howe Street into 157 units of social housing, but it's already a done deal.

"The consultation is around how we operate the building,” said City of Vancouver Housing Manager Mukhtar Latif.

City staff told CTV News they were taken aback by the turnout to discuss residents’ concerns. An official said a larger room was booked to accommodate the crowd, and they deny accusations they’re trying to make opposition look as small as possible.

"We have had additional people respond this week which has taken it over the capacity that we had,” said Latif.

People turned away from Wednesday night’s meeting have signed up.

"Everybody deserves a chance to be heard in one big forum,” said area resident Sandy Moss.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Penny Daflos

CTV Vancouver 
Published Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:52AM PDT 
Last Updated Thursday, October 30, 2014 7:35

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