Homeless camps a rising concern

Vernon council was told Monday that six homeless camps were recently found in the community.

Politicians at all levels are being urged to address the needs of the homeless or those at risk of finding themselves on the street.

Vernon council was told Monday that six homeless camps were recently found in the community.

“We do need more affordable and supportive housing,” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council.

A major move forward is B.C. Housing purchased the former Journey Inn motel downtown. Thirty-eight units will be operated as affordable housing under contract by the John Howard Society.

Many of the tenants will be employed but the cost of housing is challenging for them. Others will be seniors who have been in transitional housing.

Beyond permanent housing, concerns revolve around temporary shelter space for the homeless.

“There are turn-aways quite often at the shelter,” said Sharkey.

“There isn’t enough room to bring everyone in.”

One of the most significant gaps, according to Sharkey, is a lack of a women’s shelter.

A business model has been developed for a women’s shelter, and particularly for those with addictions. However, a funding source has not been located.

The Social Planning Council, the City of Vernon and other agencies have a committee that tries to connect the homeless with services they need, including housing.

Information is also provided to occupants of homeless camps on how to keep their sites clean and avoid problems with the broader community.

“It’s quite unique and does not happen in every community,” said Sharkey of the city’s bylaw compliance department being proactive to assist the homeless.

The recent increase in homeless camps may be partially a result of the closure of the Green Valley Motel and its tenants not finding new residences.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: $2,600 buzz cut for Vernon man

Richard Rolke raises nearly $3K for CMHA’s crisis line with fund ‘razor’

‘We are not seeking a handout,’ Enderby drive-in owner says

Touched by fundraising efforts, Starlight says show support by coming to the movies instead

$113K boost for North Okanagan charities on COVID-19 frontline

Partnership between United Way and Community Foundation supports organizations from Vernon to Revelstoke

Highway 97 near Falkland reopens after crash

A motor vehicle incident on Douglas Lake Road put the brakes on traffic

WATCH: New home for Vernon family

Single mom, two kids new residents of Habitat for Humanity’s first completed project in Vernon

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read