Crime, Drugs and Homelessness Raised by Ward 3 Residents

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Residents and business owners in downtown Windsor are expressing frustration over a number of issues in the city core.

The frustrations were raised during a meeting of ward three residents hosted Tuesday night by city councillor Rino Bortolin.

Bortolin started off the meeting with a presentation and then opened the floor for questions and comments.

Those who approached the microphone raised concerns surrounding petty crime, homelessness, safety, drugs, safe injection sites, and alley lighting.

Mary Morris lives on Erie St. W. between Ouellette Ave. and Janette Ave. She's concerned over the growing amount of Air BnB's in her neighbourhood.

"They really have no boundaries on what they're going to do in the neighbourhood," she says. "They couldn't care less if it's a residential area.  They're there to party, have fun and then they leave all their garbage behind plus we're kept up at night."

Morris says she recently had a run in with a bachelorette party who left items on the front lawn of her home.

"It was a very large penis and on the head of the penis was a big smile, that I woke up to on a Sunday morning to have my coffee, with this thing waving in the breeze," she says.

Mary-Ellen Zaleab lives on Victoria Ave. between Erie St. and Giles Blvd. When it comes to homelessness, she feels the squatters are harmless but believes those who are using drugs and stealing for drugs are causing most of the issues.

"A lot of these people are afraid to go out, I'm not afraid, I am not afraid and I will take action if I need too," she says. "If I find somebody doing something illegal and improper in my neighbourhood, I am going to take action and I'm tired of it."

Zaleab told the meeting that she cares about her community but is concerned about the direction it is heading.

"My garage is broken into several times," she says. "I've had high-end bicycles stolen, there's been needles found in our alleyways and we have loud neighbours. Three of my neighbours surrounding me, the homes have just been sold and purchased by owners in Toronto."

Residents also thanked councillor Bortolin and Windsor police for the work they are doing in the ward.

On Wednesday night. ward eight city councillor Gary Kaschak holds his ward meeting at Seventh Day Adventist Church on Haig Ave.

The meeting begins at 6:30pm.