Kamloops council offering support to Community Action Team

By Jill Sperling
December 5, 2017 - 4:58pm

KAMLOOPS — Recommendations to improve and support Kamloops' coordinated response to mental health and societal issues were adopted by City Council today. 

The city faces a growing number of social concerns, from homelessness and addictions, to panhandling and crime. 

City Council approved a series of measure to address the issues. 

"What that will do is provide an opportunity for us to advocate for increased changes in the delivery of services in the community," said Social and Community Development Supervisor Jen Casorso, "bolster those existing supports, reduce the impact on emergency services and broaden our community response." 

The recommendations were created with input from the Community Action Team. They include an immediate funding request of $150,000 a year to add a second mental health and addictions clinician for the Car 40 program. 

The city will also be requesting additional funding from Interior Health, BC Housing, and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions for Emerald Centre and the temporary winter shelter. 

The shelter, located at the old Stuart Wood school building, has been the subject of numerous community complaints. 

"Our shelter system is at capacity," Casorso said. "We know we have a larger population than that. We are actively looking for other opportunities that allow us to meet that need in the community, so that everyone is safe, especially over the winter months. With that, we need to engage community around that." 

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