City focused on social issues

Vernon has renewed the professional services agreement with the Social Planning Council for 2015 to 2018.

A non-profit agency will continue to help Vernon tackle critical social issues.

The City of Vernon has renewed the professional services agreement with the Social Planning Council for 2015 to 2018.

“Of all of the things we do and the contracts we have, this is the one we get the most bang for our buck for the benefit of our community,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

The city first entered into a contract agreement with the Social Planning Council in 2010 for community development and social planning services.

The Social Planning Council’s duties have included co-ordinating the Partners in Action committee, overseeing homelessness and attainable housing strategies, developing a strategy for drug-related issues, assisting with downtown Vernon revitalization and responding to urgent matters as they arise.

It has also helped community groups access funding from senior levels of government and charitable foundations.

By using an outside agency under contract, it means the city does not need its own staff to deal with social issues directly.

The agreement calls for the Social Planning Council to be paid $60,000 in 2015 (the same as 2014) and $65,204 in 2016. Funding would increase in 2017 and 2018 based on the cost of living.