City urged to act

Take a stroll through the creekside boardwalk at the south end of Polson Park.

Take a stroll through the creekside boardwalk at the south end of Polson Park.

You will encounter pleasant autumn colours of green, orange and gold, and the soothing sound of flowing water. If you cast your gaze to either side of the trail, you will also encounter a multifocal homeless camp, with dozens of people squatting in the bush replete with tents, tarpaulins, propane cylinders and bicycles.

This is, of course, a single facet of the enormous homeless problem in Canada. I understand that many of these people have nowhere else to go. However, their choice of this location is fraught with problems that must be addressed.

The camp is immediately adjacent to a freshwater supply for humans and habitat for fish. There are no toilet facilities at their camp. One can presume that they are contaminating the Vernon Creek with raw sewage.

This is a public park for enjoyment by all. The psychiatric illness and substance abuse that invariably accompanies (and causes)  homelessness makes this walking corridor less suitable for families. The destruction of the ground flora from trampling creates an ugly mess and destroys animal habitat.

The litter that ensues creates an eyesore and results in soil and water contamination.

The City of Vernon has ignored this issue. I encourage concerned citizens to remind municipal officials of the problem. These people need to be provided with shelter or at least a different place to camp with toilet facilities.

Jason Doyle