Terrace Tackles Homelessness And Other Social Issues At Forum

Hillary Johnson

Terrace residents attended the jam-packed meeting last night to participate in the discussion and express opinions and ideas on the city's homeless and social issues. Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc was happy with the number of attendees and the outpouring of new ideas that presented a continuous theme.
"The policing issue came up quite a bit. We've asked for three more police officers; we know that we are getting three more police officers, it's budget time. Policing is the highest cost of our budget, so we are going to be faced with that challenge, but we know it's important."
People, from all backgrounds and walks of life, came forward to speak their minds and provide their insight. Construction Worker, Dag Livgard, suggested a new form of low-cost modular housing of his design called project 3,2,1.
"Small units they're 32 square feet up to 64 square feet. It provides for those people who want a stepping stone to something better because it will give them all their basic needs. It's a lockable warm, dry place to sleep, protection from elements, a place to store personal belongings safely, access to food, clothing and bathroom facilities, showers and laundry. Also, a unique mailing address."
Kermode Outreach Support Worker, Stephanie Louie, feels that respect and understanding for one another is a crucial factor in solving the homeless crisis. She explains the road to recovery can be a long and daunting one for those who reach out for help.
"You don't just send them to the treatment. They have barriers, they have issues, they have traumas, and they need healthy support systems. How, can we, as a community, help provide healthy support systems to a person who has been labelled. It sometimes takes 6 to 9 months to get somebody off the street, into a shelter, off to detox into treatment to come back to our northern quarter project program, to get them training and to move on to employment, to become self-sufficient."
Mayor Leclerc says the council has been working hard on various social issues for several years. She says the city will continue to try and help to improve citizen's lives and lobby for provincial assistance. City staff is compiling all the information gathered from this meeting and, to build a report that will be made available to the public.

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