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Community group wants Lower Sackville palette shelters moved outside school zone


Concerned community members in Lower Sackville, N.S., want to see a pallet shelter village moved. They say it's too close to a junior high school and it's become a public safety issue.

Dawn Chisholm completes a regular patrol of an area near the Leslie Thomas Junior High School. The concerned resident and other members have been sweeping the area daily, looking to collect drug paraphernalia and other items, since a pallet shelter village was set up less than 100 yards away from the school.

"What we are looking to see is hopefully that this shelter could be possibly be placed in another location," said Chisholm, who is an administrator with the online social media group called 'Relocate The Beacon House Shelter.'

"We are not saying 'not in Lower Sackville,'" said Chisholm. "We are just saying maybe not have the (palette shelters) directly in a school zone."

Chisholm says she and other community members have found drug paraphernalia in and around the school zone which have been documented and submitted to the government, police and Beacon House.

"We've found things such as needles uncapped, and capped, spoons and crack pipes on schools grounds," says Chisholm.

Beacon House set up 19 tiny palette shelter homes on its former church site on Metropolitan Road last month, where they also operate a 24-bed homeless shelter.

The decision to set up the village in the current location has come with much protest and complaints from the community. A town hall meeting was held last month where community members shared their concerns.

CTV News reached out to Beacon House to ask about the public safety concerns from the community but they refused an interview request.

We did speak with an employee of Beacon House who also declined an interview, but confirmed to CTV News that they do have staff monitoring a pathway between the school and the shelter, before and after school and during the lunch hour.

A representative with the province's department of community services told CTV News they have no plan to relocate the palette shelter village at Beacon House and says the province is working closely with the operator and the RCMP and feel the situation is being well managed.

The province is providing $900,000 in annual funding to Beacon House to operate and staff the palette village.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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