Enlighten Hair & Tanning Salon, located beside the Gateway Shelter on 33rd Street, has announced plans to move to a new location because of issues with street people. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Violence and dirty needles force Vernon salon move

Enlighten Hair & Tanning Salon, located beside Gateway Shelter, moving to new location

Ed Kendall has had it.

Kendall, owner and manager of Enlighten Hair & Tanning Salon, is moving his location to avoid chronic problems with street people.

The salon, presently located at 2804-33rd Street, next to the Gateway Shelter, will relocate to Discovery Plaza on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at #7 – 3100-35th Street (behind the downtown Safeway).

Kendall said the salon has suffered an increase in trouble over the years as the shelter’s rules seem to have become more lax and the influx of seasonal transients increases.

“If picking up needles every morning was the only problem I had I could probably deal with it,” said Kendall. “But I frequently have to chase people off my property, roust them in the morning from my doorway, and I’ve even had a knife pulled on me while trying to get into my business. And it’s not only the shelter; there are new, more aggressive people in town all around here.”

Originally Kendall was planning to buy the building, but the past few years of increasing lawlessness changed his mind.

“It was getting to the point where we had to walk customers back to their cars,” he said, referencing people hanging out on the sidewalks and around his salon. “I feel for the landlord, who is going to have a hard time selling now.

“It’s not that I want to move. We’ve been here for 18 years and we were going to buy the place and stay here for the future, but I’m losing customers and I’ve had enough.”

Related: Polson Avengers fight for park

Related: Spring melt uncovers dirty needles in Vernon

Kendall is frustrated that the City of Vernon and the police don’t seem to want to do anything about the problem.

“All I’ve heard the mayor say is that we have to get used to it because the city can’t do anything about it. And our security company tells me the police sometimes don’t even show up when they’re called.”

Kendall claims that when the Gateway Shelter was first established, he and other nearby business owners were assured that the shelter would run a tight ship.

“We were promised that check in would be 5 p.m. and that everyone would have to check out at 9 a.m. We were told that no clients would be allowed to hang around within two blocks of the shelter and that no one would be allowed in if they were drunk or stoned. And for the first few years everything was fine. But now it seems like there are no rules at all. People are coming and going at all hours and no one is doing anything about it.”

The salon will remain open in its present location until near the end of August.

The Morning Star has reached out to the mayor and John Howard Society for comment.

The Activate Safety Task Force, created to look at issues involving homelessness, addiction, poverty and criminal behaviour on the business community, will present its findings and recommendations to Vernon council Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Virtual drugstore’ dealer sentenced in Penticton

A Penticton woman was using the casino as a hub to sell drugs and launder money

Further mediated talks scheduled in casino strike

Gateway and BCGEU schedule talks for July 20-22

Police and GSAR search river near Hedley

Princeton RCMP and ground search and rescue crews are at the Similkameen… Continue reading

Extreme fire danger in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The fire danger rating hits extreme or high in areas of the Okanagan- Shuswap

Heat warning issued for Central, South Okanagan

Environment Canada expects temperatures to exceed 35 degrees Celsius today

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Tailgate Party celebrates Naramata’s early roots

South Okanagan wineries located on the Naramata Bench host their annual party

Emerica tears up Penticton Youth Park

Pro skateboarders make summer afternoon even hotter

Hedge up in flames in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident burning weeds had flames spread to a nearby hedge

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

UPDATE: Wildfire near Lake Country grows to seven hectares

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze at Dee Lake

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

UPDATE: BC crews respond to two new wildfires

Blazes near Allison and Osoyoos Lakes

Motorcycle driver dies in a head-on collision near Oliver

RCMP said the three vehicle collision, near Road 18, happened around 2:45 p.m. on July 14

Most Read