As homeless camps become more and more visible on Winnipeg riverbanks, one city councillor says the city’s efforts to address the issue are a step in the right direction, while another councillor wants a new strategy.
Earlier this year, the city backed away from plans to remove the camps and force people to move on.
Main Street Project and its partners now send outreach workers to connect people with services, but if they don’t want help, they’re left alone.
It’s the option Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry Coun. Sherri Rollins prefers.
“It’s easier to say, ‘Lets just get rid of them,’” she said. “But what are you saying when you say that? You’re saying dispersing is the answer.”
While many residents have voiced concern over the city letting the camps stay up this summer, Rollins insists positive work has been done.
“While it may not look and feel like success, there have been a great deal of touch points of social services that have happened over the course of the summer,” Rollins explained.
“People should be encouraged by that.”
Coun. Kevin Klein, however, wants to see more done when it comes to dealing with homeless camps.
“Main Street dealing with the problem today is a solid interim solution,” Klein said.
While he didn’t suggest tearing down the camps as a solution, Klein said he is working on a plan with community members outside of city hall to address the issue.
Klein said his plan involves educating kids, helping addicts find treatment and then targeting any criminals.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with city council,” Klein said. “This will be a plan that will be the community getting it done.”
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