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Positive Living North to provide supports at homeless camp near Veterans Park

Smithers Town Council have approved a Temporary Use Permit for a container to be placed near Veterans Peace Park for Positive Living North.

The container will be used for administrative and support services for the homeless population that is currently residing across from Town Hall.

Council discussed the idea at the May 24th council meeting after a report was submitted to Town Staff.

Concerns were brought forward by local businesses in the area with the topic of behaviours from the tenants that are currently residing at the camp.

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Mayor Gladys Atrill said that the concerns in the letter that were submitted are well justified and understandable.

She added that she also has a lot of sympathy for people who find themselves living in those conditions.

“If it’s not us who helps? Who tries to help? And if it’s not here where? We’ve tried other places, it’s difficult to be homeless, it’s difficult to be addicted, it’s difficult to be in a small town without adequate supports,” Atrill said.

Additionally, she brought up the announcement about the new sobering centre that is being built in Prince George and how officials called it a hand to the North.

Atrill said that it is a hand but not really because people suffering with addictions in Smithers cannot just head to Prince George so, there needs to be a solution within the community.

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Councillor Casda Thomas said she supports the trailer because of the safety for everyone involved.

“I support the safety for service workers, I also support it because I support the safety of the people who live there and we can’t just relegate people to the outskirts to forested areas,” she said.

Thomas added that she sees the trailer as a way of mitigating some concerns.

The Temporary Use Permit will be valid until December 14, with the trailer being maintained by Positive Living North.

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