In the years that surrounded 2005 downtown Nanaimo had a real problem with homelessness and drug addiction. This building located at 55 Victoria Road, and home to a number of treatment services became an after hours gathering place for drug dealers and users.
At one point all three entrances to the building were blocked with people sleeping in the doorway.
This building was lost. One option was to evict the various services that supported this type of clientele, however, that would not solve our problem and it removed our ability to impose controls on this particular group.
As part of an overall strategy that involved CCTV, electronic access and lighting – it was decided to secure this particular entrance while at the same time adding some visual improvements to the building.
Working with a fabricator, we designed fencing with increased height, then added a gate with electronic access. This move was the first among many other properties downtown that followed our lead and added asset hardening to their own properties.
The results have spoken for themselves. Working closely with other partners including the RCMP and City of Nanaimo, the local area has been reclaimed. The same services are still in this building, but now we have better controls and a better neighbourhood.