Efforts to fight crime, homelessness in Kelowna may fail without more detox spaces | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Mostly Cloudy  20.5°C

Kelowna News

Efforts to fight crime, homelessness in Kelowna may fail without more detox spaces


KELOWNA - One of the key pieces missing in the City of Kelowna’s efforts to cut down on homelessness is treatment spaces so people can get help with their addictions as soon as they are ready.

“We have to get a lot louder with our federal and provincial partners to make sure we get that treatment started sooner rather than later,” Coun. Loyal Wooldridge told council today, April 8.

Wooldridge was responding to a massive report presented by acting director of community safety Lance Kayfish in response to a Nov. 30 report by former RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon.

While a number of efforts are underway or proposed — such as more housing for the homeless and a community court — one of the major keys to success is to have treatment facilities in place.

Before lobbying senior governments more work needs to be done on determining just what to lobby for.

Kayfish suggested the city work with the Journey Home Society, which is focussed on ending homelessness, to get the facts and figures in place before lobbying.

And there are some basic needs McKinnon suggested that the city isn’t yet ready to take any actions on, such as providing washrooms and drinking water – something Coun. Charlie Hodge called “basic needs” that the city is in a position to provide.

“I find it hard to believe we can build roads but we don’t have the ability to provide water to people and build washrooms for them,” Hodge said.

In response, Kayfish said he would be remiss in recommending a $250,000 solution to a problem that may only last a few months.

While it appears the city has a lot more work ahead of it, that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

There are dozens of recommendations in Kayfish's report and many are already underway – such as diverting people out of the criminal justice system when appropriate and coordinating efforts by about 40 agencies and groups tackling different elements of the problem.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2019

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile