More Concerns about 310 Division

With the Provincial Government now selling the Brookside property, some are hoping that the illegal campers will move to the new Downtown Transition House.  But there are many Cobourg residents who are unhappy about that.  A petition to the County to stop the opening of a large Transition House in Downtown Cobourg got 1000 signatures but because it was online it was not accepted.  But that does not mean the unhappiness goes away. There were 24 items of correspondence received by the County at their Social Services Standing Committee meeting on February 7 (see below).  Although there were duplicates, it’s clear that most want Transition House, the County and the Town to get an agreement together similar to the one agreed in Whitby (see Blog reports – links below).

What Questions are being asked?

These are questions I have heard being asked by Cobourg Residents.

  • Is the property that was previously used as a Retirement residence zoned for its use as Transition House?  Has the Town checked?
  • Transition House is an independent entity – who is responsible for any harm they cause?
  • Do they accept criminals released from prison?  And is there any notification of this?
  • Will “clients” from outside Cobourg be accepted?
  • Which other Northumberland Municipalities will pay Cobourg for the increased cost of Security and clean up?  Or does the County pay Cobourg?  I witnessed Mayor Cleveland asking this question in a County Council meeting but he did not get a reply.
  • Is there a limit on the number of “clients” who can be housed in the new property? 3 bunks per room by 35 rooms is 105.
  • If an Agreement is signed similar to the one made by Whitby, how will that be enforced?

Further, although the County has been holding information sessions, feedback suggests that there is no chance of a reversal of decisions already made about the new property – the Mortgage has been signed. The sessions come across as being explanatory and nothing else.

Update – Breaking News

Update – 6:25 pm 8 Feb.: The Brookside Property is now listed on the Open Market at Infrastructure Ontario. Price is $9.1M.  See listing here:  Brookside Sale Notice

Resources

Blog reports

Summary of 24 letters

  1. Abby Fast – works downtown and concerned for safety walking to car after dark.
  2. Alyson King – 6 page letter – concerned re safety – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  3. Ann and James Grozier – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  4. Brett Newell – move Transition house outside Downtown core.
  5. Cindy McAdam Battersby – eliminate the low barrier shelter model and explore proven alternatives from other communities.
  6. Danelle Partridge – eliminate the low barrier shelter model and explore proven alternatives from other communities.
  7. Danelle Partridge – eliminate the low barrier shelter model and explore proven alternatives from other communities.
  8. Jane Clarke – review the Agreement between Durham Region and the Town of Whitby and consider it as a framework for a similar agreement for 310 Division St.
  9. Jim Glover – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  10. Johanne Loken – wants agreement with County and Town somewhat like the one with Whitby.
  11. Kody Kroontje – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  12. Laurel Burkmar – Angry about collective decision to not listen to my voice.
  13. Laurel Burkmar – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  14. Lois-Anne Johns – Concerned about safety.
  15. Lorraine Harnden – Stop 310 Division Street before downtown Cobourg becomes something unrecognizable and unsafe.
  16. Margaret Syer – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  17. Peter and Jane White – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby.
  18. Ray Rhodes – Re-consider petition.
  19. Rod Simpson – Wants collaborative model like one with Whitby.
  20. Stephanie Richardson – wants agreement with County and Town like the one with Whitby
  21. Susan Dodd – without establishing strict rules and guidelines to keep the community safe, nothing will be achieved.
  22. Tito DiMarco – Please do your jobs – the rights of many outweigh the rights of the few.
  23. Tony and Debra Jackson – Wants commitment to community collaboration.
  24. Wayne McCurdy  – Examine the experiences of other communities and adopt the best practices

See originals here

Addendum – 10 February 2024

Although there was no public response to the letters above, at least one citizen got a response. Download the Question and Answer here. Note the time that the email response was sent.

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Kevin
7 days ago

The Whitby shelter has a service provider.
Ajax shelter provider to run 1635 Dundas in Whitby (durhamregion.com)
Opening the “winter” of 2024, but we haven’t been having much of a winter. I think it is supposed to open within a month even though later December 2024 is winter. How is the agreement progressing with the 310 Division shelter?

small town Ontario
Reply to  Kevin
7 days ago

Northumberland County will release a report in the near future. I think the County hired a consultant.
My understanding is the operation of the shelter itself will be the responsibility of TH.
Northumberland County will have a contribution agreement with TH
If Northumberland County agrees to an agreement, with the town of Cobourg, and I believe the Police Chief wanted one as well will it even be worth the paper it is written on.
Health, Crime, Nuisance issues. Inside TH, is this a responsibility of Northumberland County Social Services?
Outside TH, activities are of a broader nature, therefore County may say will need responses from others.
IMO, the risk to the safety of residents should be chief in importance. NO TH at 310 Division.

John Draper
Reply to  small town Ontario
7 days ago

Look for a new post today on 310 Division. Brent Larmer has written a report giving an update.

DKC
9 days ago

The Transition house model in Cobourg appears to be a far cry from the Transition House I worked at as a residential social worker from 1975 until 1980 in the annex section of Toronto. That facility still exists today on Madison Avenue proudly serving that city, and successfully so. The premise is built on service to clients eighteen years of age and over with a myriad of problems, from correctional services, substance abuse, various forms of physical and mental trauma,.to name only a few. It is a short term stay, a month to three months. The clients must be referred by a reputable agency and supported throughout his or her stay by a worker from that agency who is required on demand to attend regular staff meetings at the house to keep staff apprised of the clients goals and the progress being made to that end. The client participates in the activities in the house including cooking and cleaning, (with supervision). Each client leaves the house at 8AM and is able to return at 4PM. They are to be actively pursuing their stated goals in a written contract they sign along with their designated caseworker. There are strict rules including no substance abuse period, and no violence. Infractions of that kind result in the immediate termination of that persons stay. No client is eligible for residency if they are currently using substances. They must be cleared through a detox or other like minded facility. People who need housing must have a plan and being actively searching for same with the assistance of their worker.

It can work well and has providing the proper supports are in place and they are adhered to resolutely. Transition House in Toronto is proof that it can be done when it is done properly.

James Bisson
11 days ago

I believe it’s important to note that the purchase of 310 Division for exclusive use by Transition House as a Low Barrier Shelter without any alternative options for its use is problematic. In discussions with community groups at the Open House, it became clear that several organizations would have appreciated the opportunity to be considered as a partner to advance their capacity to positively impact our community.
In an independent report on the County shelter system date May 2023, 44 recommendations were made with Transition House being highlighted negatively. Based on the report and the 5 year history of that organization managing an LBS, I have concerns about them being a suitable partner.
For those who believe 310 will solve the encampment issue, I think you will be sorely disappointed. Prior to July 31, 2023, Cobourg did not have an encampment. It came about as a direct effect of closing down drug houses in residential areas. At present, there are 29 occupants all of which are addicts according as confirmed by coordinators. In fact, they are convinced they are in control as the response by the authorities has left them emboldened.
The acquisition of 310 for shelter purposes is sound. It’s the process, the plan, and the intentions of the players involved I deeply question especially with Cobourg being severely impacted without public input as the County Warden declared on Dec 6, 2023.

Rational
Reply to  James Bisson
11 days ago

James – would you know if the May 2023 report on the County Shelter System had 310 Division as a target site at that time?

James Bisson
Reply to  Rational
11 days ago

There was no mention of 310 in the report as the facility ceased operations in January 2023 and my understanding is that it officially closed in June 2023.

Rational
Reply to  James Bisson
11 days ago

Thank you for the information.

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
11 days ago

Agree, James…points l also have raised here in discussion.What criteria was explored to deem The Transition House Coalition to be recognized as the only option as program holders for the shelter going forward . Especially when we see five years of accumulated failures with some successes. The exposures of untrained staff and lack of respect for surrounding neighbours are also relevant. A call for input from other willing organizations, with positive planning and forecast for addressing our unhoused was surely warranted as the present format is not making gains, after this five year period. This is where a more community inclusive approach to assigning the management of the shelter could have proven beneficial to all. I also hold the opinion that the continuation of the low barrier shelter in the downtown , regardless of the operators, spells further ruination of our community

James Bisson
Reply to  Downtowner
11 days ago

Indeed, when you see the chain of events over the last 10 months, a picture emerges. So in chronological order
May – The Emergency Shelter
June – July Cobourg Strategy to Close Drug Houses
July 28 – Drug House at Division shut down (1 of 4 owned by ….)
August – Encampment on Beach. Town votes 4-3 to leave them there. Shooting. Town votes 7-0 to move them. Move to 600 Williams
September – Move to Brookside
September – Drug house at Battell shut downs (2 of 4 owned by…)
September – eviction notice posted without being executed
November – 310 acquisition announced with Transition House as recipient
November 20 – job posting for position of Manager at County closes
Dec 6 – announcement of 310 with delegations and debate. Behaviour and comments by Councilors warrant review by Integrity Ombudsman of the County. Rev Ellis presents for Transition House and may very well be in a conflict of interest as he would have applied by Nov 20.
Jan 2024 – public consultations are not what was promised by County Warden publicly on Dec 6. Rev Ellis admits on podcast that it’s a done deal. Rev Ellis resigns from pastoral duties to take a job with County stating that an offer was made “in the Fall”. County has yet to announce his hiring officially
Feb – consultation process completed. Limited number of residents participants with no forum to discuss options to transition house. (Was on a Zoom for 1.5 hours so first hand knowledge) Open House did not deal with 310 at all. Terms and conditions of deal, costs, and formal plan not made public.….

I think I see a pattern…..

Downtowner
Reply to  James Bisson
11 days ago

A pattern of closed door decisions….little transparency

Paul
Reply to  James Bisson
9 days ago

I thin in the people of Cobourg need to take a drive to Belleville and take a look at Bridge street United church to see what 310 division will look like. Google what Mayor Ellis has been trying to with the government of Ontario aft an evening where 23 people overdosed. And think it is prudent to talk with the paramedics who transport people to hospital and the Cobourg hospital staff to get an idea of how these folks use out resources. My neighbour walks early in the morning and as he approached the tent camp a resident came riding out with a bike while stuffing a at in his jacket and proceeded downtown. Our police paramedics and hospital are all having their resources used up due to drug related incidents. The county and town council need to rethink the location.

Kevin
12 days ago

I think the issue with how this particular property is to be used goes much deeper than most people realize. In a more recent posting by JD on selected developments there is little rental housing being offered to meet the demand for rental apartments. People who work in the service and construction sectors often have low paying or seasonal jobs. They do not have down payments for the new detached homes, row houses and condo units being built. I have spoken to people who moved here from Brampton, originally from Indian, to serve fast food at minimum wage. Some people are willing to work for less than minimum wage if paid cash. One guy goes to school in Peterborough but can car pool to Port Hope for work. He told me he needs the money to send home, overseas. We often hear ‘housing crisis’ but that is also causing a work crisis. If 310 Division were rented to Indian, or other foreign students, it could be filled by the end of the week and they would take it as is. They want to work.
We are spending so much money and effort trying to help people who do not want to work or are not able to. I think they need options but giving them housing with little expectations in return will drain our resources. This is not a sustainable situation. Legion Village wants to expand. Where will all the PSW needed to care for the residents live? Where will the PSW come from? Many come from overseas now and are struggling to find housing. We are using existing housing for the wrong purposes or planning demolition, in the case of the Golden Plow. How are things going to look in 5 to 10 years?

Rob
14 days ago

Is anyone aware if Cobourg investigated and/or made an effort/offer to obtain the 310 Division property for the purpose of affordable housing? I mean it was literally under their noses…they could have controlled the outcome for the benefit of taxpayers, small business, DBIA and those in need of affordable housing. Instead of the County purchasing the property, without consultation, for purposes that will certainly damage neighbouring businesses and property values, hurt nearby residential property values, irreparably harm our community perception and reputation and further drain the downtown core.

If not, why not? Council seems rather eager to place affordable housing on an incredibly valuable piece of Grade A waterfront property…why wouldn’t they have kicked the tires on 310 Division?

Kevin
Reply to  Rob
14 days ago

I don’t think ‘affordable’ housing is the responsibility of Cobourg. It may not be possible for them to purchase 310 Division for that purpose. The county is responsible. Many people do not like using 310 Division as a low barrier shelter, which I understand. We do have to do something. Providing homeless people with ‘safe’ drugs, food and a tent is not really helping them in my opinion. At least not in the long-term.
There is little point in trying to understand how local government decision are made. The Golden Plow is scheduled to be torn down. According to the mayor this decision was made several years ago and other decisions were made based on demolition. It is too late to make a change. Our parking by-laws can apparently be changed at least annually. Some people would like Victoria Park campground used for a different purpose. But a decision was made to use the property as a campground. Maybe it is too late to ever repurpose it. Maybe we can change its use quite often. There is no reasoning with people who do not know how to reason or refuse to.

Downtowner
Reply to  Kevin
12 days ago

I hear exactly what you are saying and, it reflects the need for housing for those coming to our country for a fresh start.
A fresh start would be a positive direction for 310…..rehashing the low barrier shelter and trying to put all of the efforts to address the drug addiction issues along side the unhoused into the same building is a backward step actually making the situation worse and amplifying risks for families trying to move forward. The people living rough at this point in the camp surround themselves with the possibility of death every day and l don’t think that is something that unhoused people need to be exposed to…especially children.
When will the realization that the problems of drug addicted unhoused people is vastly different from others struggling to house their family due to displacement land on the desk of social services and proper plans be developed?

small town Ontario
Reply to  Rob
14 days ago

Sept. 2023, Northumberland County was trying to deal with the encampment at 600 William St., talking to their lawyers etc. Northumberland County Social Services meetings included presentations from certain groups of people. By Nov. 2023 NCSS were going into closed session meetings talking about proposed or pending acquisition of land and getting advice from lawyers. By Dec. 310 Division was announced as a purchase. So much for full disclosure.
At this point in time I have not heard the Warden or any councilors including LC discuss the negatives of this purchase or even address concerns.
Electronic petition “e-petition” are used to draw attention to an issue or concern of a public issue and they will not even change their system and recognize the 1000 signature petition.
Yes, and I have been asking why!!!

Keith Oliver
17 days ago

Last night I attended the Feb 12 evening meeting at the Legion put on by the County regarding the proposed future use of 310 Division St.

I was expecting a summary report of the public input received during the several previous encounter type meetings which were limited in size and for which one had to register in advance. I believe it’s important to hear all comments including the negative.

That was not forthcoming and instead there was an array of services available through out the County for those in need. I was assured that the County would issue the type of report I was looking for soon. With others I left my e-mail address
.
I am in favor of the proposed use of 310 but with conditions for both the selection and needs of the occupants and the nerds of those living nearby. We have an example of how Whitby has responded successfully.

The example and concerns of the individuals served by Transition House next door is hardly justified. The four available bedrooms house people using bunk beds, a circumstance more likely to cause problems than cure them. At 310 bedrooms will be private.

When thinking of those in need, whatever those needs may be, I’m reminded of the quote ….
“Life has a way of reminding you that you are at the mercy of chance and that even well thought out plans can turn to chaos in an instant.”

I appreciated the level-headed comments by Dennis Layton posted below one day ago.

Downtowner
Reply to  Keith Oliver
16 days ago

First of all..l do not consider myself a “nerd” living nearby Transition House.We have been neighbours of this endeavor since it’s inception by the County of Northumberland as a helping hand for individuals and families struggling to find secure, long-term housing. This operation ,quietly ,worked extremely well for over twenty years. One hostile event occured which unveiled the fact that staff were not properly trained for crisis intervention and there was a pause in operation of the service . This pause coincided with a growing number of unhoused people in our and other communities resulting in low barrier shelter being developed to offer respite to all. After five years this approach has failed and again revealed shortcomings in the lack of professional assistance at Transition House,as there continues to be many unhoused here and elsewhere and encampments established. I support a new approach but definitely not a low barrier shelter to address this issue. Few of the people with drug addiction or mental health problems will reside here . Sobriety has to be achieved before progress and clear thinking can result so therefore those that come into residence may possibly break free and make positive, gainful progress and re-enter a healthy life. I , like you hope there is meaningful collaboration between all affected in the immediate vicinity, and the operators of the future shelter,similar to that happening in Whitby to result in an impactful, safe, successful service…..it cannot be a low barrier shelter. The difficulties of drug addiction and it’s fallout(crime, violence ,lack of safety, homelessness) needs to be approached with a different plan, and hopefully that will soon be realized.

Dennis Layton
19 days ago

The proposed shelter at 310 Division Street is a critical step forward in addressing the growing issue of homelessness in our community. While some may question the need for compassion towards individuals experiencing homelessness, particularly if they’re not employed, it’s important to understand the complexities behind this issue.

Homelessness rarely stems from a lack of work ethic. Often, it’s a consequence of a number of related challenges like mental health struggles, addiction, domestic violence, chronic illness, and economic hardship. These factors taken together makes securing and maintaining employment incredibly difficult. Judging individuals on a single aspect paints an incomplete picture and overlooks the unique circumstances that led them to their current situation.

Furthermore, even with the desire to work, navigating the job market while experiencing homelessness presents immense hurdles. Access to basic necessities like shelter, hygiene, and nutritious food directly impacts job search efforts. Limited transportation, lack of formal identification, and societal stigma further compound these challenges, creating a seemingly insurmountable barrier to employment. Those who know of people that find themselves homeless understand this. No one chooses this lifestyle.

Those who think they can simply push homelessness out of their backyard, are ignoring the social realities of our time. Instead of questioning the “rightness” of compassion, lets focus on meaningful support. The alternative is that the societal impacts of homelessness will grow and fester, not go away. The opening of the shelter at 310 Division Street serves as a powerful symbol of our community’s commitment to providing a lifeline to those in need.

Rational
Reply to  Dennis Layton
19 days ago

The proposed shelter at 310 Division is proposed as a “low barrier” facility; which is what the well documented issue is. It needs to be “High Barrier”.

“Low barrier” will only lead to/develop into a “Super Encampment” environment – filled with drug addicts who do not wish to follow rules, lead to continual crime, wreck 310 Division beyond repair, and tarnish Cobourg – impacting businesses, residential values and tourism.

The solution is to hold 310 Division to “High Barrier” as a minimum.

Dennis Layton
Reply to  Rational
19 days ago

I see, so those that don’t qualify for a ‘high barrier’ shelter just what, go away. They don’t need or deserve help. They are not left on our streets to fend for themselves. Good plan, problem solved.

Rational
Reply to  Dennis Layton
19 days ago

They agree to go into rehab and sort them self’s out. The enablers have to compromise not just the law abiding residents of Cobourg.

Last edited 19 days ago by Rational
Downtowner
Reply to  Dennis Layton
17 days ago

Those that refuse to accept the offered help are not left on our streets, they choose to remain on our streets. At some point the fact that there are not clear thinking individuals remaining in compromised existence and decisions for their health need to be made will evolve. It is truly unfortunate that even though every effort has been made to assist many to live their best life , that effort has been skewed to a call to accept that we should allow many to continue in an unhealthy, unproductive, self destructive, lawless path.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Downtowner
17 days ago

Downtowner.

In both the US and Canada we used to force people into care whether they wanted it or not. They were called Assilims (sp). We’ve learned this type of forced treatment soon vanishes and old habits return. By repeating and repeating this kind of response became very expensive. Best cure comes through understanding, meaningful relationships and a willing client.

It’s a demanding and time-consuming process and must involve trained specialists; more than well meaning beaurocrates (sp?). Not sure we have it all together yet. We do when treating physical injury but not mental injury.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
17 days ago

Keith, in both the US and Canada we didn’t have encampments. Why do we tolerate them Now?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
17 days ago

Ken

You are right. The weather there is much more reasonable; plus we didn’t have encampments until recently.

I lived in Washington in the 1990s and remember photo’s of Congressmen stepping over bodies sleeping on the sidewalk as they went to work.

Like I said; have a physical problem or injury, self inflicted or not, you go to the nearest hospital and it gets fixed. Have a mental or addiction problem or lose your job and it’s “tough luck you creep!”

Downtowner
Reply to  Keith Oliver
16 days ago

Agree Keith, there are tactics not yet employed, requiring time, money, education and cooperation. In the interim we have those unwilling to admit there is a problem allowing unhealthy existing in our towns in fact supporting the rights of others to continue down this path. Perhaps the education needs to begin here as there are at least clear healthy options being presented and rejected.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Rational
17 days ago

To Rational. Before going over-the-top would it not be best to hear the Countys’ final plan?

Ted Quinn
Reply to  Dennis Layton
19 days ago

Very well said and I completely agree with you.

Rod
Reply to  Dennis Layton
18 days ago

How many of the encampment job seeking drug free law abiding citizen will you open your home to?You can start by showing us the extent of your care by doing this.Hopefully some of your friends and concerned property owners will be shamed into following your generous gesture. Just a note, selling drugs is illegal but you may include it with meals if you wish to do so.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Dennis Layton
18 days ago

I had sympathy for those experiencing exactly what you are describing. However in less then a year Cobourg has sunk into total dysfunction. The law abiding citizens are exposed to absurd behaviour every single day: theft, assaults, disturbing the peace with screaming, yelling, howling, trespassing, open drug use, drug paraphernalia everywhere, peeping toms, break ins, property destruction, vandalism to list a few. If the enabling group want compassion, empathy or sympathy for the homeless then they need to demonstrate socially acceptable behaviour which does not include the list above. The enabling group is telling us that we have to accept this drug addled behaviour as normal and provide any service they demand at our expense. That’s not how things work.

John Mead
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
14 days ago

Slowly slowly our Quiet Town is shutting down , one by one little things that the Community valued
The bus station used as a skate changing and warming facity a well designed Bus shelter vandalized and used as a drug use facility.The Community Centre we were so proud to build is becoming aplace seniiors are attending less becauseof being accosted . The Running track attendance use has dropped of even in bad wether times.
our Xmas l

Downtowner
Reply to  John Mead
14 days ago

It will get worse if the low barrier shelter is allowed to continue.There needs to be recognition of the health care crisis in our and other communities and positive plans of action developed.The indulgence and furthering the blind acceptance of drug use and addiction as a normality must cease.

James Bisson
Reply to  Dennis Layton
11 days ago

You post accurately reflects the variety of reasons why individuals end up homeless. Based on your statement, there are 5 major homeless “sub groups:

Affordability – economic restrictions based on income and market conditions
Availability – limited number of accommodation related to person circumstances
Situationally – family breakdown, violence, discrimination, eviction
Disability – either physical or mental
Addiction – particularly synthetic drugs
Note -40-60% of the chronically homeless have the latter 2 conditions simultaneously.
I strongly agree that as a moral society we need to leave no one behind. I also agree that 310 is an important transaction in addressing the above. My concern in that the County is ticking boxes off a list rather than strategically developing a plan that actually forms part of a permanent solution for everyone. To combine all of the above into an emergency, temporary 90 day max stay, low barrier facility managed by an organization with a poor track record and reduce beds by 25% (47-35) for “wrap around” services when the building right next to it (empty COSIC) could be leased instead at a fraction of the cost speaks volumes.
As with most complex problems, the best approach is to break it down into smaller items and deal with each one towards a common outcome with all stakeholders considered. Sadly, the residents are on the hook twice: our taxes pay for it and we pay again with the consequences of decisions made by politicians, bureaucrats, and advocates. Not the win-win we all desire.

small town Ontario
19 days ago

Just reading JD’s Addendum – Feb.10, 2024
response to a question from a citizen, and the response seems to come from the Service Manager of Northumberland for the housing and homelessness system.

Rational
21 days ago

The concerns are well documented concerning a low barrier Transition House being located at 310 Division Street which will lead to increased dug activity, crime, decreased house and business values, and a further deteriorating downtown Cobourg business district. These concerns have been relayed by residents and business owners to both the Town Council and County.

The elected Cobourg officials responsibilities are front and foremost to represent the well being of its’ municipality and residents. This is not happening with this Mayor/Council, and needs to change now.

IMO it is Council’s responsibility to: 1.) form a Council Delegation to represent the Cobourg Residents position against the now proposed use of 310 Division to the County; and, 2.) establish a position with the County that Cobourg is not the County’s dumping, and that all municipalities in Northumberland need to be part of this picture.

Sandpiper
21 days ago

Lets speak in Facts
NOT 310
The County to Avoid Liability , Responsibility and Reprisal Sold this Property to the Transition House Group , Who ever it may be ???? in the Corporate structuring process of Transition House This can change without public involvement .
They the County have admitted in their Public meetings to now Holding a Mortgage on the sale of 310 to Transition House .
The Zoning review and public meetings have not been held that I am aware of
This should have allowed for public interjection and input prior to approval . Just the same as any Change of use the rest of us are required to go through in this Town
So what happened to Process , Openness and Disclosure .
These open sessions with a County are just fact finding missions on Public opinion so they may defend their actions , and now Transition House Operator / Owner may be a County Employee Rev. Neil Ellis and Company ?? .

Dave
21 days ago

If 310 Division is to be a helping hand to people addicted to drugs no illegal drug use should be allowed. Otherwise you just warehouse and concentrate people in one area who then perpetuate their life style never changing. There is no purpose. People who have entered 310 in the hopes of coming off drugs are exposed to the very addictive drugs they are trying to quit.
As for the immediate neighbours they must suffer the crimes of these people on drugs just as the neighbours of Transition House have. What is the point of a low barrier shelter?? The County must be mad! A bad idea all the way around doomed to fail.

small town Ontario
21 days ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcD3JEO5oM4

utube interview with LC and DP,
The answer to the first question Pete Fisher ask the mayor, was simply a No, why does LC have to tell a long story when answering questions?
Isn’t it surprising that the concerns of residents, TH at 310 are never addressed in public statements.

Doug Weldon
Reply to  small town Ontario
21 days ago

Who or what are LC & TH. Please explain.

Kevin
Reply to  Doug Weldon
21 days ago

In my opinion (IMO), LC = Lucas Cleveland, TH = Transition House, GWC = Greenwood Coalition, PF = Pete Fisher, JD = John Draper, VPC = Victoria Park Campground. There are lots of other abbreviations used. You are not the only one to be confused as the 2 TU (thumbs up), at the time of my reply, show agreement.

small town Ontario
21 days ago

a) Petitions may be submitted to the Clerk and will include a minimum of two (2) persons including their respective addresses and on each page a clear statement of purpose for the Petition. b) Only petitions relevant to County Services will be presented to Council. c) The County is not accountable for the accuracy or reliability of petitions that are submitted. d) Petitions must contain original signatures only, written directly on the petition. e) The petition must clearly disclose on each page that it will be considered a public document. f) All petitions that meet the above standards will be presented to Council or to a Standing Committee at the next regular meeting, or the meeting at which the subject of the petition is to be discussed. g) All petitions, unless otherwise disposed of by Council, be referred to the appropriate staff member without any motion or debate unless otherwise ordered by Council. Delegations – Council and Standing Committees No delegation, other than persons entitled by law to be heard, shall be allowed to address the Council except where the Council decides to permit the delegation. Delegations shall be allowed to address the Standing Committees as of right regarding business items included on the meeting Agenda.

The above statement came from Northumberland County web site, 11.14 Petitions

I would like to suggest that (d) Petitions must clearly contain original signatures only, written directly on the petition—–should be changed to accept on-line petitions as other governments have changed and accepted on line petitions.

This will then allow the stop the opening of the large Transition House at 310, with 1000 signatures petition.

The next Regular Meeting of County Council will be on Feb. 21st at 9:30 a.m. I know that this can be changed quickly, if the will to do this by the Warden and other councilors is there.
Let’s e-mail the Warden and each councilor and ask for this change.

Thanks to all the letter writers for taking the time to care about what happens in our community.

Beachwalker
21 days ago

So, the entitled folk in Cobourg don’t want an encampment. The County does something about this and offers a place for the campers to go. A place that will offer counseling and a ” helping hand”. Oh wait, the entitled folk don’t want that either. Give me a break.

Leslie M.
Reply to  Beachwalker
21 days ago

The entitled folk in Cobourg?
Who would want an encampment?
Who asked County for a massive, low barrier shelter?

I would like to offer you a “helping hand”; do not walk barefoot on the beach — you could get pricked by a nefarious needle.

Easy on the pretentious, Almighty assumptions, guilt game & play on linguistics. Water is wet.

Downtowner
Reply to  Beachwalker
21 days ago

Give me a break….l live in the downtown ,was raised in the downtown by a single parent, worked ,raised family, own my home and have retired in the downtown. I do not under any stretch consider myself entitled.What l have been and continue to be is under siege due to the soft approach being used now and for the previous five years leading to the ruination of our neighbourhood. I support the existence of a shelter with high barriers to help those helping themselves. I am opposed to a continuation of the existing Transition House in the downtown…..l’ve had enough and my pound of flesh has been donated time for a better approach to the drug problem separate from the housing problem

Doug Weldon
Reply to  Beachwalker
21 days ago

Reply to Beachwalker

The problem is much larger than just downtown Cobourg. No government at any level from Municipal right up to Federal wants to deal with the homeless issue. The NDP, Liberals and Conservatives both Provincially and Federally have not even spoken in any meaningful way about Homelessness. If Cobourg opens good facilities, which I would normally support, then more and more homeless people will pour into our town. That is already happening.

Normally this problem would be Doug Ford’s and the Provincial governments problem. We need to lobby and fight with them to move on this issue. I assume Doug Ford will do nothing. Why do poor, small town and rural people vote for a party that does nothing for them ? Our Ontario government is focussed on helping the rich people. They have even cut funding to our Health Care Services.

I believe the Homeless problem is a drug related problem. We need facilities to dry out all drug addicts. There should be laws to incarcerate any known serious drug addict into a rehab clinic. They probably won’t be eager to go in but many will be very thankful once they are dried out. A new and better life awaits each one of them.

As long as the drug problem exists, so will the homeless problem. It can only be cured by Provincial governments. Federal support would be excellent as well. Small towns can not pay this bill.

Leslie M.
Reply to  Doug Weldon
21 days ago

Hi Doug, the responsibility for the 1st world housing crisis is due to Authoritarian Federal Liberal governments. Housing costs have doubled — starting 8 years ago. Hmmm. Who took authoritarian power over our country in 2015? If you watch Parliamentary debates fancy socks reads off a script & does not answer simple, direct questions.

You are correct in that Cobourg’s situation is a drug problem — and when/ how did that start?
Politics in Canada & elsewhere have become top-down. Look to Argentina, as a 20 year example of where we are headed. Change is now happening there. I do not vote based on the name of a political party, rather what they have to offer, here are some facts:
https://youtu.be/RxKI9zKhDNE?si=WuukxfrtQOnwSeFY

Marilyn
Reply to  Doug Weldon
21 days ago

Not all homeless people have a drug problem.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Marilyn
20 days ago

Most in Cobourg do.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Beachwalker
20 days ago

How about the entitled folk of Grafton? Would they enjoy an encampment? Guaranteed the campers will not be going to 310.

Rod
Reply to  Beachwalker
18 days ago

You being a beachwalker try walking a day in the shoes of concerned property owners. if the shoe fits don’t forget to scrape the s..t you step in upon leaving these private properties. More than likely left behind by your well behave drug free trespassers.

Give me a break
21 days ago

Great questions and points … this is a County issue ….. delegations should attend County meeting and any planned protests should be at the County site and not at Cobourg Victoria Hall … we never really get any questions answered by the prior warden and County CAO/CEO nor will we get any as long as Cobourg is the so called centre of the county universe … unfortunately with no local newspaper or even good radio coverage most folks do not appreciate the concerns raised by the local folks ….. how about closing Transition house and set up satellite shelters in Cobourg, PH, Brighton and Campbellford …. Thanks for sharing all this info John.

ciw
21 days ago

The Town of Cobourg should simply refuse to pay for the damage and cleanup caused by 310 Division. It is a County operation and they must take full responsibility and pay all costs. The Greenwood Coalition should bear some responsibility as well, financial and otherwise.

Give me a break
Reply to  ciw
21 days ago

Great suggestion about the County except the fact that part of our tax bill also includes School and County costs …..

small town Ontario
Reply to  ciw
21 days ago

Stop government funding of GWC. Cobourg Council just passed a $800. plus cash grant to them for 2024.

Lucas cleveland
Reply to  small town Ontario
17 days ago

No we didn’t. Please do not state things that are not facts. The entire grant process was put on hold and no grants awarded in favour of creating MOU ‘s. No grants have gone to GWC from this council in this term.

Rational
Reply to  Lucas cleveland
17 days ago

While you haven’t provided a Grant for GWC at this point, is it only a delay pending an MOU is provided or a request outside the MOU procedure? Can you confirm now that you will not support any Grant(s) to GWC given how they are enabling the out of control drug situation in Cobourg?

Concerned Cobourg Resident
21 days ago

Why is the town spending money on homeless housing?

Homelessness is not an issue that can be solved by any level of government, it is a personal choice, and caused in part by the same governments you claim can help.

The reason that so many people buy into the lie that government can solve homelessness, is because it hijacks people empathy circuits into thinking that we have a moral duty to take care of everyone else, when of course we do not. If this truly was the case, then every resource under our control should he shared with everyone else, our money, time, property, and attention.

Funny, this is what the politicians, these political magicians, are pushing these days, diversity equity amd inclusion on a very global, intrusive scale.

They want you to not own everything and give away everything you worked your whole life for to everyone else for free.

No thanks!

Kevin
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
21 days ago

Yes, “They want you to not own everything and give away everything…” Owning nothing and everything being controlled by the state. A form of socialism or communism. When has that ever worked for the greater good?

Cathy
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
21 days ago

Interesting, however the average income in Cobourg is $57k/year, much less if one is on disability or pension. A one bedroom apartment can range from $1500-$2500+ per month is insane. I see this in my work every day. Seniors are sleeping in their cars, this should cause incredible embarrassment to every politician and resident in Cobourg and surrounding counties. Just a reminder, not all homeless people are addicts. I have to ask where are the families that would let this occur, but here we are. So to turn a blind eye, and say no thanks, my taxes will go up is just cruel. We have a duty to help those less fortunate.

Concerned Cobourg Resident
Reply to  Cathy
21 days ago

It’s not “WE”, it’s “I”. If you want to help the homelessness, fantastic! But, it should not be compelled on everyone else as an involuntary ‘WE” duty. This is a grave error that leads to socialism and communism. Is this what you really want?

Cathy
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
21 days ago

Oh for gods sake, give your head a shake! Something tells me you’ve got a teachers salary/pension to protect, and you own your own home. Your point, or lack thereof, is lack luster at best. Do better.

Cathy
Reply to  Cathy
21 days ago

I see from the several dislikes my point might be true. That’s pretty sad. Most of you on here of of an age and access our social healthcare system, or may have been off sick from work and had opportunity to access EI sick benefits. So, it’s definitely about the me, so long as it doesn’t affect your pocket book. Your attitude truely sucks.

Beachwalker
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
21 days ago

And so far 43 entitled folk agree with you.

Downtowner
Reply to  Beachwalker
21 days ago

Again with the term entitled!!!could it be you consider anyone who doesn’t share your opinion entitled…or is it anyone who has struggles and faced and overcome them to be a healthy productive individual and now wants a hopeful future to enjoy that which they have gained in life thus far. Many of us are just plain proud of our accomplishments…..not pious

Chevalgal
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
21 days ago

To Concerned Cobourg Resident: “Homelessness is a choice”?? What universe do you live in?! I recently watched an employed (but no benefits), hardworking, low-income person who doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs — I’ll call them J.S. — become homeless here through no fault of their own. Their landlord wanted their 1-bedroom basement apartment back for his own family. J.S. had paid $900/mo for the past 4 years for this apartment. On their work income, they could afford $1200 max incl. utilities. After 3 months of searching, J.S. found nothing to rent within 20 km of Cobourg for that $. Some landlords wanted to see an income of $100K before they’d rent! Others wanted proof J.S. had 6 months’ worth of rent in the bank! J.S. thought they’d have to live in their car, which they need for work. They put their belongings in storage, and in the nick of time a friend offered a spare room for a month. JS is still looking for affordable housing and may still end up living in their car. This story is being repeated all over Canada. No wonder some of these folks end up on drugs — I bet, in their situation, you might too!

Cathy
Reply to  Chevalgal
21 days ago

There are too many stories out there, people love to lump the addicts in with the non addicts. Why, because it’s easy to lay blame.

Downtowner
Reply to  Cathy
21 days ago

I disagree….MANY comments on this topic have asked for a triage approach …thus allowing for unhoused to be separate from mental health and drug addiction .This approach could see more people sheltered….mental health and addiction require medical application and therefore the process is more complicated and lengthy

Kevin
Reply to  Chevalgal
21 days ago

Sounds familiar Chevalgal! If you are who I think you are, you are welcome to have JS call me. I might have something in my house or know of a couple other options. I agree some people like J.S. end up homeless due to circumstances. Some of our encampment dwellers did make bad choices and have refused offered help. I am willing to help people who want and appreciate the help I am able to offer.

Dave
Reply to  Kevin
20 days ago

Very thoughtful and kind of you Kevin. I also gave a fellow a chance. He was on methadone and trying to improve his life. It was just before I put the house up for sale so temporary. The house one the same street we were on where he lived got sold so he was on the verge of homelessness. Uncomfortable with people he kept mainly to himself. AA provides a very good program for people to first get comfortable with people sharing the same problem then onto to the wider world as their recovery lengthens. A very important aspect to rejoining the mainstream.
However JS’s problems seem more about finding a place they can afford and with the long waiting lists for RGI there are many who can’t find a place. By the by – the fellow’s mother in my place obtained a 2 bedroom and from my place he was able to live with her.

Aleta
Reply to  Dave
20 days ago

To both Dave and Kevin
You are both kind souls, and I know there are many more out there! Many of us would do anything we can to help those who want it or deserve it. It is also great to hear this, when there are so many others just sniping at each other because they have anxiety/fear/frustration about the homeless situation.

Cobourg taxpayer
21 days ago

I am quite sure the squatters from Brookside will not be moving to 310 Division because as long as there are barriers of any sort this will not be acceptable. The enablers such as Jenni Frenke, Missy McLean and David Sheffield of Greenwood Coalition know exactly what they’re doing: forcing the provision of zero barrier housing for drug addicts. This group feels drug addicted social misfits have to be accommodated. If by some fluke the County were able to get the rules and regulations straight for 310 it could be a good thing for the homeless who are in this condition due to unfortunate circumstances and will eventually fend for themselves. However the chance for this is slim to none.

Kevin
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
21 days ago

Sometimes bad things happen and people need help. The model of TH is to help people transition to better living and working conditions. The ‘squatters from Brookside’ were formally from homes in Cobourg. They already had housing that TH helps people find. There are local jobs available. But drugs, and the profit from selling drugs, are very powerful. Cobourg Taxpayer, I think you are right about ‘the squatters from Brookside’ will not be moving to 310 Division. To expect these people to move and work on improving their lives is to expect them to completely reverse the course of their lives. We know how reluctant governments are at reversing direction. Maybe it would be good to make recreational cannabis use illegal again.

I know some of the letter writers. They are responsible tax paying citizens. Many of the letters are asking for an agreement like the one in Whitby. We have no idea how effective the Whitby agreement will be because that facility has not opened. We do know how effective our laws about using illegal drugs are. The enforcement of these laws have allowed addicts to destroy homes, commit crimes and live in an encampment. By all means get an agreement in place but don’t count on it being effective.

ciw
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
21 days ago

You forgot Neil Ellis.

Sonya
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
21 days ago

Don’t you think that 310 will cover all the human right issues and the Waterloo decision? I think the squatters will have their tents dismantled the day 310 opens. It’s their choice if they want to go there or not. If not then there’s lots of advocates that have acres of land that they could accommodate the squatters.

small town Ontario
Reply to  Sonya
21 days ago

What if we have a 310 mega TH, and the encampment. Unless and until Brookside property sells this situation in our community will continue and worsen, IMO.
The more I try to understand what is happening, I have come to the realization that Northumberland County -Social Services is building their empire at the financial expense of the taxpayer. Yet no accountability to the residents of Cobourg, and the emotional stress they have endured.

small town Ontario
22 days ago

This is the headline news from our neighboring community of Belleville

https://globalnews.ca/news/10281378/belleville-state-of-emergency-drug-overdoses/

The mayor has declared a state of emergency and is asking for Provincial and Federal help.

John’s blog – “no chance of a reversal of a decision already made about the new property. The mortgage has already been signed.

What part of NO TH at 310, does this Northumberland County not understand. If the County owns 310, as I understand it, and TH is responsible for the mortgage, then pay the penalty on the mortgage and get out now.
No Agreements, NO TH at 310.
Residents have been asking since December to pause, stop, no further action.
Cobourg’s mayor is OK with TH at 310, regardless of residents concerns.
MPP David Paccini, MP Lawrence for heaven sake do something to stop Th at 310.

John Mead
Reply to  small town Ontario
21 days ago

Changing discussion to Brookside
The Mayor announces that the Province has opened land for sale to all
The land has sat idle for the last 5 years but the mayor covers up for his staff that they are to busy or not capable of offering any ideas on how the land use could be developed for the benefit of the Town .
The mayor is only interested in the income the Town will receive from a larger tax base . A prime site on the Towns main highway crammed to full of linked Town houses (market conditions will dictate density due to flood plane) insufficient capacity for water treatment is a problem
Any idea at what Brookside could be used for.?
A big summer camp for ex To kids? A Royal marines special ops water training camp ( Navy seals might get a grant for harbour to) The mayor is correct that the Town could have a joint partnership A. PPP if one imagination stretched that far
Any Ides my friends ??

Rational
Reply to  John Mead
21 days ago

Could Brookside not be an attractive site for a College or a University secondary campus location which could service students from Eastern Ontario.

Could create a college town feel with students and parents coming into Cobourg for 8 months a year, create jobs, regenerate the downtown area and businesses.

Council could promote/market this concept by reaching out to Colleges and Universities.

John Mead
Reply to  Rational
10 days ago

Oh what a great idea !Turn Cobourg from an OAP sanctuary where new ideas are an anathema into a vibrant youth based learning centre . Rethink old ideas that will never work such as the planners idyllic layout for the Tannery District.oh how neat and dainty this layout looks!
I for one will be dead before any sane developer appears.
Reverse the demolition of the old Golden Plough ( never to late ) refurbish and renew. Keep the County influence into one area and stop interfering in the destruction of downtown.
Now of course a new Northumberland Police HQ at $35 Million and a refabrication of the Harbour @$25 million; please add to the list of folly’s ahead.
Dream on Cobourg , no wonder there are so many cannibas shops!
With a planning staff of 3 ,and one on long term disability ,how can you hope for any practical sane policies and with a Council asleep at the switch when the County jumps in and buys 310 Division and asks no questions on zoning or use till its to late ! Sucking up to developers by not demanding advance payments for waste water treatment or run off .Letting them all build mosquito breeding grounds in the name of flood control ponds is supposed to be progress .Then coming up with the crazy flood fees make you wonder what is really happening in or Town.
I for one think new age Luddites have taken over the Council. Our own fault just look at the vote turnout