The City of Vancouver is addressing issues around some warming centres after an investigation was launched into the discovery of a hypodermic needle.
The needle was found by a mother at the Creekside Community Centre, where she takes her child to play each day.
The community centre has since been closed as a warming centre, but GM of parks and recreation Malcolm Bromley says “you can believe me because I don’t make a habit of lying” when asked whether it’s believable that the needle discovery and closure are unrelated.
Bromley says the decision to close it was his and was made over the Christmas holidays in relation to consolidating warming centres – he says it’s an issue of burnout.
“The decision yesterday at Creekside, I want to make it perfectly clear, I don’t want the individual parent feeling responsible for the closing of the warming centre. This was something that we were discussing over the weekend as a matter of fact, saying that there’s increasing pressure on our staff, saying that they’re kind of running out of steam on this, and what can we do to consolidate or come up with a new location.”
He says it appears the child was not pricked with a needle and the closure is not because of that incident.
As for where the needle came from? Bromley says they are waiting on a report from staff.
The Carnegie community centre is now going to be opened as a warming centre.
General Manager of Community Services Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas says 2,000 people have used city warming centres so far this winter.