A homeless camp is set up behind Polson Park, near the Kal Tire head office over the summer. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star file)

A homeless camp is set up behind Polson Park, near the Kal Tire head office over the summer. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star file)

Bylaw respond to increased calls to deal with Vernon homeless

Seasonal enforcement officers had 1,568 calls, compared to 1,382 during same period in 2019

More calls were made this eyar to minimize the impact of street entrenched people on businesses and the public.

The Bylaw Compliance Seasonal Enforcement Program ran from April 27 to Nov. 1. The four members, who were out at 8 a.m. seven days a week and investigated 1,568 calls. The busiest month was June with 362 calls. The seasonal staff dealt mainly with street entrenched persons target analysis (SEPTA) individuals, which made up 40 per cent of the overall bylaw files during that period. That is up from 33 per cent (1,382 SEPTA calls) in 2019.

“The seasonal staff dealt with 292 individual SEPTA persons over the course of the program. While many of these individuals were transient and only dealt with by seasonal staff on one instance, some were daily contacts dealt with throughout the entire program period,” protective services manager Darren Lees said. “While all 292 individuals were street entrenched not all were homeless.”

They also assisted the RCMP with 25 of the SEPTA clients identified as subjects of criminal arrest warrants. Police attended and all identified were taken into custody.

The seasonal officers would require clearing of temporary shelters at Polson Park and other locations were packed up by 9 a.m. They also helped city operations workers to clear large amounts of rubbish and abandoned camp debris from sidewalks and boulevards throughout the city.

Working closely with the RCMP, the seasonal bylaw staff focused on Polson, Becker and Linear parks.

They also attended prohibited temporary shelter locations such as the Vernon Recreation Complex and Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre grounds. Officers conducted additional patrols of the area due to safety and vandalism concerns from when shelter services were located at the Vernon Curling Club.

READ MORE: Vernon temporary homeless shelter moves to warehouse off 25th Avenue

But they were also there to help. Working closely with the street entrenched individuals, the officers made sure they were aware of and had access to various community resources available through local social service providers.

“Although calls for service to bylaw compliance continue to rise steadily year over year, the availability of the additional seasonal staff members permitted bylaw compliance to provide a more proactive response to our community’s concerns, manage the workload of increasing calls for service from the public and mitigate the impact of the street entrenched on the community,” Lees said.

READ MORE: 51 per cent of Vernon bylaw calls related to street entrenched population


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Homeless

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vernon Aquatic Centre will be closed for its annual three-week maintenance period from Aug. 26 to Sept. 16. (City of Vernon - photo)
Chlorine leak closes Vernon pool

18 swimmers evacuated, pool opens shortly after

Mighty Mouse Daycare is set to open Dec. 1 at #8, 2601 Hwy. 6, in Vernon. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
New Vernon daycare focuses on independence

Mighty Mouse Daycare set to open doors in Highway 6 location Dec. 1

Okanagan Sleigh & Wagon are on board for the 2020/2021 season up at SilverStar Mountain. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Horse sleigh rides on board at SilverStar

Okanagan Sleigh & Wagon running fourth year of magical adventures

The Vernon Public Art Gallery is looking to the community to support its programming, which VantageOne Credit Union is matching for Giving Tuesday. (VPAG image)
Vernon art gallery gets a boost for Giving Tuesday

VantageOne Credit Union matching donations

Evergreens, especially berry-producing varieties, can provide colour and interest to your garden in the winter snows. (Pixabay photo)
A Gardener’s Diary: Coldframes give leg up on spring planting

Columnist Jocelyne Sewell plans winter planting ahead of December

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A Shuswap couple reported having fallen victim to a family emergency telephone scam. (File image)
Shuswap couple fall victim to family emergency scam

Person claiming to be couple’s son said he was injured and in jail

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Report of gunfire leads RCMP to men barricaded in North Shuswap home

Chase RCMP said investigation related to firearms offences is ongoing

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read