West Kelowna residents skeptical of city’s ability to deal with crime and homelessness - InfoNews

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West Kelowna residents skeptical of city’s ability to deal with crime and homelessness

West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom opening a Town Hall meeting on crime and homelessness tonight, June 27.
June 27, 2019 - 6:55 PM

WEST KELOWNA - “I’ll believe it when I see it,” was a comment made by a woman sitting near the front of Lion’s Hall tonight, June 27.

She was reacting to West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom’s opening remarks at a Town Hall meeting, promising the city will do more if crime and people’s fear of being unsafe increases.

Nancy Henderson, the city’s General Manager of Development Services, then started giving some background information about how the city came to have a problem with homelessness and was heckled from the back of the hall, over the heads about 150 residents.

“We want to hear about the homeless in the community now,” a man shouted repeatedly.

He was asked to leave and did so.

Henderson briefed council on homeless issues at its meeting Tuesday but gave a much shorter overview tonight.

She was followed by a number of other speakers who gave background information on the agencies they represent.

“We are on track in this community to address these issues,” Interior Health Mental Health Officer Dr. Silvina Mema said, noting that substance use is not a choice but is based on a number of factors.

Harm reduction – by providing clean needles and safe injection sites, for example, is the approach to helping these people.

These agency representatives are not going to answer the public directly, but were there to listen, she said.



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