Calgarians petition to move Alpha House rehab centre because of crime concerns

WATCH: People who live across the street from the Alpha House rehab centre in Calgary have started a petition to try to get the facility moved. The centre has been serving clients for almost four decades in a building a block from the Stampede CTrain station, and staff say it's not going anywhere. Gil Tucker has the story.

People who live near the Alpha House rehab centre in Calgary started a petition Monday in an attempt to relocate the facility.

Alpha House, located at 203 15 Ave. S.E., has been helping people struggling with addiction since January 1982 — but the area has changed since then, with an influx of residential towers.

Some nearby residents say they feel threatened by Alpha House clients, noting that theft, vandalism, violence and other crimes weigh heavy on the area.

“There’s a lot of yelling, a lot of vandalism. I’ve seen cars be vandalized multiple times. I’ve seen men hit women and abuse women many times. There’s usually screaming and just drunken chaos,” said Chelsy Hoy, who lives across the street.

“As a female, it’s very scary because when I have to walk by the large groups, a lot of the time I look down, I look away, I try not to give them any eye contact in case if that makes them become aggressive towards me.”

Alpha House said it has no intention of shutting down the rehab centre.

“We have staff outside 24/7, eyes on the street,” said Kathy Christiansen, executive director of Alpha House. “We’re very familiar with what’s happening at all times. If anyone is uncomfortable with someone who’s vulnerable and don’t know what to do, we have phone numbers they can call.

“If a situation escalates where we require more than our staff, we would call Calgary Police Service and they will respond.”

Nearby residents said they plan to send their petition to city hall and to provincial politicians.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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