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HomeNewsHow The City Of Quesnel Is Addressing Homelessness

How The City Of Quesnel Is Addressing Homelessness

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the city is working on multiple fronts to deal with a growing homelessness problem.

Here, he talks about two of those fronts…

“We’re working on the enforcement side, we’ve added additional bylaw and people should be seeing them in the downtown core, we’ve added additional RCMP. We have been working as well on the social services side. We now have a psychiatric nurse through Northern Health that goes out with our RCMP and will be going out with bylaw to provide street level services.”

Simpson says this psychiatric nurse was made possible through Northern Health…

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“Northern Health has been a very proactive partner for us. One of the issues we raised with them is when our RCMP do a mental health call, and do an apprehension under the Mental Health Act, we are required to have that RCMP officer remain with that individual until such times as a doctor takes over their care. That can mean that one of our officers ends up in the emergency room for hours, and sometimes we’ve had a couple of the RCMP officers over there. That takes resources away from the street.”

Simpson says they have now come up with a program where that nurse goes out on the street with the RCMP officers…

“This currently happens for one morning a week and we’re hoping to expand that to two here shortly, and we’re hoping to expand it more often using our bylaw resources as well. The psychiatric nurse also now has a rapport with some of the individuals on the street and goes out on her own as these issues. We have also been successful in getting some funding for a mental health clinician who will be housed in the old community policing office on the west side, and he says they are working with BC Housing to get more housing supports as well.”

Simpson says every community in the province is dealing with this issue however and Quesnel is not unique.

That said, Simpson says they so have some issues that they need to address, and that they are addressing,

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