Writer recounts moving to Trail in 1999 and the changes seen in the city since. Photo: Unsplash

Writer recounts moving to Trail in 1999 and the changes seen in the city since. Photo: Unsplash

Response to Trail Times letter, “I no longer feel safe going downtown alone”

“My family and I had moved from Creston to Trail for work and business reasons.”

This story is like the man that doesn’t feel safe walking downtown. (“I no longer feel safe going downtown alone,” Oct. 26, Trail Times)

This story begins back in the summer of 1999.

My family and I had moved from Creston to Trail for work and business reasons.

The middle school had just been completed and coming down the hill from Montrose to overview this beautiful valley was a glorious sight.

Reminded me at my age what it was like driving into Kelowna, of course a smaller scale, but full of potential for a child like myself to thrive in.

I was told what goes on in cities such as “gangs, violence every corner, shootings, drugs” etc., so I expected something similar to happen.

But in reality, I found a group of friends that were older by three years show me the city and the great things such as Gyro Park, the recreational center,the mall, which thrived at that time with Zellers, the drive-in theater and the list can go on.

The point being, it didn’t matter what time or what day it was, you could walk downtown with a friend or even by yourself without seeing one negative or criminal activity.

You felt safe walking the streets at 12 a.m. in the middle of the night.

To be honest, since the Olympics happened in Vancouver and decided to ship a large amount of homeless anywhere far from Vancouver, a lot ended up here.

With the latest crisis with opioid addiction and now the COVID virus making more homeless, the City of Trail, which once thrived, is now becoming a haven for (people) with mental health, addiction, and being evicted and jobless.

(This is ) creating problems for the men and women with companies downtown.

Breaking in and stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise either won’t get caught — or will get caught — but the items are long gone.

Many will turn to this method and or even violence to earn cash or anything to keep them going.

These kind of things are making people uncomfortable to do anything in the downtown area or even let their kids out past a certain time at night, and making sure they have a cell phone or a friend with them at all times.

If we ever want to see Trail a home then something should happen about the current problem we have now.

Children will grow up and realize this city is nowhere to raise a new family and move on.

Another reason why the mall hasn’t filled back up with businesses is most likely because they see a once bright and sturdy mining community is now turning into the ghetto of the Kootenays.

Action must take place not at a later date — but now — or the problem will keep escalating.

A.F.

Trail

Letter to the Editor