Trail City Council Tackles Homeless Situation Downtown

downtown trail

Trail City Council wants to develop an overall strategy to deal with downtown homelessness.

Staff is being asked to look into several measures including the feasibility of a safe drug injection site.

Councillor Carol Dobie said reducing the number of overdoes because of a safe supply is one reason to have such a facility.

The chance to keep the area clean is another.

“Once you have people using safe injection sites and continue to allow that to happen and increase it by maybe more than one site, you’re going to see less syringes and needles left out in the community which I think is going to affect the overall safety of all of us,” said Dobie.

Sherri Karn of Trail RCMP believes lights and cameras in the alley near the homeless shelter would be another positive step.

“A lot of our suspected drug activity and exchanges for monies are happening in that alley.  They won’t happen in that alley if there are cameras present,” said Karn, who added residents, city officials and business owners help take back the alley by painting over graffiti.

Council has also asked staff to investigate the cost of adding lights and cameras as well as cleaning the area more often.

Karn told council post-treatment care is one reason homeless people are gathering n Trail.  She said people are staying in the city because follow-up care is only available at Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital.

Councillor Sandy Santori pointed out addressing the problems connected with homelessness goes beyond city hall.

“We also need to continue to lobby for funds from the provincial government,” said Santori.

“ It just bugs me that we’re not getting any financial help from the province yet they can spend 645-grand for one toilet in the lower mainland,” said the city councillor.

Kootenay West M-L-A Katrine Conroy will also be invited to address council on the effect the opioid crisis is having on the Trail area.