Vic­to­ria to hold sec­ond pub­lic meet­ing on tran­si­tion house pro­posal

The Compass - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA edi­tor@cb­n­com­

Vic­to­ria town coun­cil­lors will hold a sec­ond pub­lic meet­ing to get feed­back from res­i­dents about a pro­posal from the UTurn Drop-in Cen­tre to move into a former re­tire­ment home and cre­ate a tran­si­tion house for peo­ple in re­cov­ery.

Coun­cil­lors made the de­ci­sion last Tues­day dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing at the town hall. The pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion will not in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the U-Turn Cen­tre this time around. In­stead, the fo­cus will be on the pub­lic shar­ing their thoughts di­rectly with the coun­cil.

“We felt that the meet­ing we had (Dec. 7), there was less than 100 peo­ple, and that wasn’t a suf­fi­cient amount for us to make a de­ci­sion,” Mayor Barry Doo­ley told The Com­pass on Thurs­day. “Now it’s out there in the pub­lic and ev­ery­body is start­ing to give their opin­ions. We feel it’s a pub­lic is­sue ... so we’re go­ing to have an­other con­sul­ta­tion and see what comes from there.”

The meet­ing is sched­uled to take place Jan. 16 at the Vic­to­ria Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, with the next coun­cil meet­ing ex­pected shortly there­after.

The tran­si­tion house would be for peo­ple in re­cov­ery who have com­pleted a 28-day pro­gram at pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment treat­ment cen­tres in Har­bour Grace and Cor­ner Brook and re­ceived a re­fer­ral from staff at those fa­cil­i­ties.

The tran­si­tion house would have a live-in care­taker, an op­er­a­tions man­ager and a part-time so­cial worker, and also serve as the new of­fice and meet­ing space for U-Turn par­tic­i­pants. A strict zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy

“We feel it’s a pub­lic is­sue ... so we’re go­ing to have an­other con­sul­ta­tion and see what comes from there.” Mayor Barry Doo­ley

for drugs and al­co­hol would be en­forced, and ran­dom drug test would take place.

Res­i­dents would be re­spon­si­ble for all liv­ing ex­penses, in­clud­ing rent, dur­ing their stay, which could last for up to one year. To start, U-Turn ex­pects to ac­com­mo­date four to six res­i­dents, though that num­ber could in­crease in sev­eral years.

The own­ers of the build­ing have of­fered to do­nate it to the U-Turn Cen­tre, which cur­rently op­er­ates in Car­bon­ear.

While there were peo­ple in the au­di­ence at the Dec. 7 pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, oth­ers voiced con­cerns about the lo­ca­tion at the former Vic­to­rian Re­tire­ment Home, which is close to sev­eral homes and busi­nesses.

The po­ten­tial of a plebiscite vote to de­cide whether or not to ac­cept the U-Turn pro­posal was also men­tioned dur­ing the Dec. 7 meet­ing. Doo­ley told The Com­pass that op­tion re­mains on the ta­ble.

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