Homeless numbers drop

There appears to be fewer people living on the street in Vernon - according to recent survey

There appears to be fewer people living on the street in Vernon.

A June survey only found two homeless camps.

“It means we are having success in connecting people who are homeless to the Gateway shelter and other agencies,” said Annette Sharkey, with Partners in Action, which focuses on social issues.

In May 2012, there were no camps while there were seven in June 2011, 16 in October 2010 and 30 in June 2009.

When individuals are found in a homeless camp, they are provided with information on services that may assist them.

Partners in Action has also updated its homeless strategy, but two ongoing gaps in the community is a lack of supported housing for women and detox services.

One pilot project in the works would focus on medically monitored detox so individuals can get assistance in a timely manner.

“It’s a very exciting project,” said Sharkey.

In other matters, Partners in Action also continues to try and reduce the risk for sex trade workers.

One initiative will see businesses in areas where prostitution is an issue asked to collect the licence plate numbers of customers and pass them on to the RCMP.

“The program should be up and running in the next couple of weeks,” said Sharkey.