Phil Spencer
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Greetings, friends.

The Christian Church has had, from its beginnings, special concern for the poor and the vulnerable. As such, the Parksville supportive housing proposal is something that has been of interest to most, if not all, local churches in our district, and, if you have been following the local paper, you will have seen that this plan has generated no small amount of discussion in the community. As you may already know, KAIROS is an ecumenical church organization who focus on justice and peace related issues and a number of St. Stephen’s members are involved in this work. KAIROS has been following the Parksville housing proposal for some time and they have asked that the Oceanside churches  circulate their perspective on the issue. You may find the attached document helpful in thinking about the proposal.  

Blessings   Rev. Phil Spencer

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Hello,    As promised at our services last Sunday, here is some information on ways that you can find out accurate details about the proposed supportive housing initiative for Oceanside.  The following is a link to the City of Parksville website www.parksville.ca/ 

 If you click on this link you will be taken to a page on the City’s website with three other links.  By selecting each of these you will be taken to information specifically about the proposed supportive housing project and about this approach to supportive housing in general from the City of Parksville,  BC Housing and Island Crisis Care Society.  You are encouraged  to read the information provided on those sites.  It will be the most accurate available and will help us all to consider what we are hearing from other sources, including the media and social media.  

As members of our local community the first thing we can do is become informed so that we can make our own decisions and can discuss the issue with factual information.  If you would like to become involved beyond that, there are a couple of ways you can do that.   The rezoning proposal will be getting its first and second reading at the council meeting on Monday, May 7th.   This will be followed by a public hearing which will most likely be scheduled for sometime in late May or early June.  After the hearing the third and final reading of the proposed zoning change will be considered at a council meeting that follows after that date.  (We don’t know the exact dates for the hearing or the final council meeting yet so please watch the news for when they are announced.) 

The first thing you can do as a concerned community member is pray.  Please be praying for our community, for the leaders who are responsible for making the decisions regarding this and for the people in our community who are currently without homes and may not feel they have a voice in this issue.  We are also encouraged to write to the mayor and council for the City of Parksville to express our thoughts and opinions about the project.  Their email addresses can be found on the website listed above.  During our meeting with the mayor and two councillors we were told that they want to hear from people throughout Oceanside and will be trying to get a sense of public support or opposition based on what they hear via letter/email and at the public hearing.   Finally please consider attending the public hearing when it happens.  This is an important way that the city council will gauge the level of public support the project has in the community.     Thank you for your concern for our community and for the wellbeing of all who call this place home.  

Blessings, Dianne