Thunderbird Centre discussion dominates second task force meeting

The meeting was held on Aug. 30.

The District of Hope has released the minutes of the second aggressive panhandling strategy task force meeting, which met on Aug. 30 with 10 people attending.

The majority of the discussion centred around services for people in need. Hope and Area Transition Society (HATS) staff reported that the Thunderbird Centre program currently leases its facilities from a private land owner, have two staff on shift until 3 p.m. daily and are operating at full capacity regularly. On Aug. 30, they turned away seven people.

Mayor Wilfried Vicktor said that operating the Thunderbird on leased land “is a concern” because the land could be sold anytime, hence pushing people back onto the street. He said a government-owned facility would help in establishing a long-term plan, but there is a shortage of suitable land and said that a partnership with First Nations bands could be discussed.

Coun. Bob Erickson agreed with Vicktor, saying that a new location is needed so that 30-60 people are not at risk of being back on the street. Coun. Heather Stewin said the task force needs to determine a dollar amount and “really push” the proposal to the provincial government.

Vicktor also said if Hope receives money from the provincial government to re-establish the HOPE Project, HATS might not be chosen as the recipient because contractors might have to go through a bidding process.

The task force also discussed potential solutions including additional staffing and expansion at the Thunderbird Centre; organizing a downtown clean team similar to what the City of Victoria developed, where a team would clean sidewalks, remove refuse and graffiti, and be available for service to local businesses; the installation of tiny portable homes or portable containers to serve as a transition from the Thunderbird Centre or as a housing-first concept, with a security service; and that the new facility should have an “inviting atmosphere that isn’t institutional.”

“People that are seeking assistance must feel welcome, that they matter and have a purpose,” said the minutes.

Just Posted

Corruption no longer dogs Yale First Nation

A return to traditional governance helps to turn the tide

Emil Anderson earns multiple provincial contractor awards

Family-run companies with a long history in the FV were recognized for excellence in grading and community service

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Chilliwack-Hope MP gives a pre-Christmas ribbing in rhyme in Parliament

Conservative Mark Strahl gets his poem in before Liberal Rodger Cuzner rises to do same

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Homes in Hope sparkling for the holidays: Part 1

Hope photographer Ray Daws shares some festive sights

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read