Neighbouring Businesses Oppose Proposed Safe Consumption Site

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Neighbouring businesses are not in favour of the proposed site for a safe consumption and treatment centre for opioid users in downtown Windsor.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced two storefronts on the southeast corner of Wyandotte Street East and Goyeau Street are being considered last month.

A public consultation process is now open, but salon owner Antoine Greige says the answer from nearby businesses is going to be no.

Greige says his salon at 670 Goyeau St. is one of 10 nearby businesses that are already dealing with used needles and drug dealers on a daily basis.

"The back of my salon and vacant properties, all over, for at least two and a half years and no one has done anything," he says. "With this now, they're going to bring that beside us and it's going to decimate our businesses; 100 per cent."

He's spoken to his fellow business owners that include Capri Pizza, Family Furniture and Bike Shop and Tropical Hut Philippine Cuisine.

Those storefronts are even closer to the proposed site, according to Greige.

"It's already hard for us. We call the police on the average once or twice a day to come and remove some of these people from our back parking lots," he added.

Greige says he doesn't have an issue with the service being provided, but it can't be at the expense of others.

"I feel sorry for people who have issues wherever, but I don't want it to be on the back of my business that's already been suffering through the pandemic and everything," he added.

City council will still have to approve the site after community input is gathered over the summer.

Greige and his fellow business owners have reached out to the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, the health unit and members of council.

He says the group will consider consulting with a lawyer to block the proposed location if necessary.