Homelessness task force

It's a big committee with a large mission.

City council has given its approval to the creation of a task force that will look at the issues of homelessness, addictions, safety and criminal behavior, their impacts on the business community and what strategies can be taken to address the problems.

“I'm a little concerned about the scope of it,” said Coun. Scott Anderson who suggested a committee with fewer members and a smaller remit focussing on how businesses were affected.

Coun. Catherine Lord also questioned the makeup of the task force.

“I was really looking for cool heads, not hot heads,” Lord remarked “There's a lot of emotion here.”

Members are expected to include people from business, tourism, the chamber of commerce, RCMP, bylaw, BC Housing, Interior Health and two city councillors – Anderson and Coun. Brian Quiring.

Lord also said there should be a plan in place on how to deal with the issues prior to next spring when Vernon's transient population grows.

This past year, it led to a large tent city in Polson Park. When campers moved on, a fewer number began a visible and unpopular camp at Linear Park on 25th Avenue.

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