Vote YES to the rezoning of the Lethbridge Ramada Hotel into a Supportive Shelter

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With the current petition circling around to say no to the Ramada remodelling, it’s time to address the false statements and let the City of Lethbridge know that not all citizens oppose this initiative.

Firstly, the original petition has a “safety” section, specifically targeting mental health statistics. Nothing else was mentioned besides mental illness, targeting disorders such as schizophrenia, DID, depressive, and neurological. It has however been proven that people suffering from mental illness are actually more likely to be victims of violent crime rather than causes- and are no more dangerous to the neighbourhood than people without mental illness. 
The targeting of these people further stigmatizes people with mental illness as dangerous, when studies support the opposite. 

Another misunderstanding is that this would bring drugs into the community. This program will be sober, minus alcohol and cannabis use off site. Many people criticized this particular detail, but fail to realize that other adults in the neighbouring houses around them are free to consume alcohol and cannabis as well. Not allowing people within this site the same legal rights as other landlords must allow their tenants is hypocritical. Cannabis & alcohol use does not automatically equal other substance use, and tenants within the building will need to prove sobriety from other substances (minus alcohol & cannabis) to stay. Therefore, there is no threat to the community. 

Lastly- there is concern for the location being close to schools and childcare facilities. This location happens to work fantastic for private rooms already built, and any other building is likely to be within a few blocks of childcare or school settings. This is mainly due to the fact that many people run private day homes for a few children, and these can be located within their homes. There is no need for licensing of these facilities with up to 6 children. So while it may seem ideal to place this away from childcare and school buildings, it’s unrealistic that it will be away from them in any location across the city. 

Lethbridge could use this facility greatly. We cannot continue to ignore the problem of homelessness and addiction within our city. This particular building will be a great step in proving permanent housing for those who are sober- therefore giving them an address so they can set up a bank account, work a job, and continue to better their lives and get back on their feet. To deny these people the help they desperately need would be devastating to the population. 

Here are some helpful links on the effectiveness and benefits of supportive housing such as the proposed idea! The last link is a fantastic graphic in particular:

https://endhomelessness.org/ending-homelessness/solutions/permanent-supportive-housing/

https://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/supportive-housing-helps-vulnerable-people-live-and-thrive-in-the-community

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519591/

https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/10823/widgets/42056/documents/36929/download