Regional District of Nanaimo directors approved a motion last week to write to the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions asking “adequate levels of treatment, recovery, detox and after-care facilities,” among other requests. (News Bulletin file)

Regional District of Nanaimo directors approved a motion last week to write to the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions asking “adequate levels of treatment, recovery, detox and after-care facilities,” among other requests. (News Bulletin file)

Regional District of Nanaimo asking for addictions and detox help from B.C. government

More than supportive housing is needed to tackle homelessness crisis, say RDN directors

Tackling the homelessness crisis will require more than just affordable housing, it will require funding for health and addiction-curbing measures, say Regional District of Nanaimo directors.

At their Tuesday board meeting, directors gave Tyler Brown, chairperson, the green light to write Sheila Malcolmson, B.C. minister of mental health and addictions, asking that “adequate levels of treatment, recovery, detox and after-care facilities” be built in the region, along with complex care housing for people requiring more than just supportive housing.

Brown, who had previously given notice of motion, said it was “heartbreaking and shameful” that there are people who are homeless in a province like B.C. with some left to suffer with addiction and mental illness on the streets. He said he was thankful for the province’s efforts with affordable housing options, but “an entire continuum of support is required.”

At the meeting, Leanne Salter, RDN Coombs-area director, told her fellow directors it isn’t just a matter of providing supportive housing.

“The reality is when you call it a health issue, you’re talking medical personnel,” Salter said. “So we’re talking doctors, nurses, that’s what’s required to help folks who are suffering from a health issue, which addiction is. Housing is not a health issue. It is the illness that one has that leads to the homelessness and so, if we understand that, then what we’re saying is what we want is medical personnel in here.”

While the government has built supportive housing and told landlords to rent properties, it doesn’t help people with addictions, said Salter. It doesn’t help them unless services are in place, and some of those services been interrupted or impacted due to COVID-19.

“So when we’re talking about this, we really need to understand what we’re asking for … what really is going to make a difference and a house isn’t going to do it and neither is a facility if it doesn’t have medical personnel in it to assist,” Salter said.

Correspondence will also be sent to mayors and councils for municipalities within the RDN asking they make similar requests of Malcolmson.

RELATED: Malcolmson new B.C. minister of mental health, addictions

RELATED: Warming centres for those experiencing homelessness open



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HomelessnessNanaimo Regional District

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

Just Posted

News Bulletin file photo
Wrong set of golf clubs given away outside Nanaimo thrift store

Family spreading word about mistake in hopes clubs might be returned to them

The Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges with garbage bin replacement requests. (Michael Briones photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo faces challenges to meet requests for garbage bin replacements

Waste manager says RDN will have a surplus of 100-litre carts

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a hit-and-run incident outside the 7-Eleven store at University Village Mall Feb. 3. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP speak to people of interest in hit-and-run investigation

Police continuing to investigate Feb. 3 incident in Harewood

(News Bulletin file)
Wellington, Ladysmith secondary schools latest with COVID-19 cases

NDSS and Bayview Elementary also experienced exposures, says SD68

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Study reinforces importance of Chinook to Pacific Northwest orcas

Data confirms how central the big salmon are to the orca’s diet year-round

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

Most Read