It's been some time since the 24-hour convenience store on 20th Avenue closed its doors permanently and since then there has been a noticeable difference in the population of homeless, drug dealers, addicts and others who would frequent the area and how much theft has drastically decreased in the surrounding area as well.
Since the convenience store closed, most of the aforementioned people have since moved on to other areas of the city. It was not uncommon to see groups of as many as 40 people hanging around 20th Avenue and you sure didn't feel safe being near them.
While it sucks for those areas, the Gateway has seen a noticeable improvement in safety, cleanliness and no big groups of users hanging around many of the businesses in the area. While it has not wholly disappeared as there are still several addicts and dealers in the area, they are considerably less noticeable now. Overdoses and thefts were a daily occurrence and caused no end of headaches and grief for both businesses and local residents and now instead of daily ODs, one employee stated they went two weeks without an OD on their premises.
It is amazing how closing the doors of one business has improved the local area and improved the outlook of many people. I hope it continues to get better as time goes on but I am also understanding that it can just as easily return to a disaster again. We all know the city, band councils, provincial and federal governments still won't do anything but point fingers but maybe somewhere someone will take notice of what happened here and actually be pro-active but then again it's a pipe dream that any of those can or will do anything.