Peterborough County seeks solutions to homelessness, mental health and addictions

Peterborough County staff will seek solutions to the interconnected ‘disastrous situation’ of homelessness, mental health and addictions in the county, which could include declaring a state of emergency, the court has decided. unanimity of the council at its meeting on Wednesday.

He endorsed a motion from Cavan Monaghan Township Mayor Scott McFadden asking staff to prepare a report for the next council meeting, acknowledging the need for local discussion and action between frontline organizations, federal governments and provincial and community leaders.

Council will also send a letter to the City of Peterborough asking their council to pass a motion acknowledging these issues.

Recently, some Peterborough defenders asked the city to declare a state of emergency on homelessness, mental health and addiction issues in the city after Niagara Falls and Thorold.

“Peterborough County prides itself on being a caring and compassionate community that continually strives to be a place where people live, work and play,” McFadden said in his motion.

Providing access to safe, adequate and affordable housing for all is fundamental to achieving this goal, he continued, and the county recognizes that the homeless are in crisis and those living in shelters are not the solution.

Sherry Senis, Deputy Mayor of Selwyn Township, agreed.

“I think the problem of homelessness will continue to grow for many reasons, and we as a county should be starting the conversation to bring about real change, taking the bull by the horns,” she said. declared. “I think the federal and provincial governments are again, ultimately, going to have to provide funding.”

Staff are invited to organize a meeting, inviting representatives from Federal and Provincial Government Departments, County and City of Peterborough, Brock Mission, Cameron House, YES Youth and Family Shelter, Overflow Shelter Families, Peterborough Police Services and Ontario Provincial Police, Peterborough City/County Paramedics, Peterborough Fire Services, United Way, Canadian Mental Health Association, Housing Services Peterborough, Kawartha Food Share, Friends Peterborough and FourCAST, as well as Dr. Thomas Piggott of Peterborough Public Health and the chiefs of Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.

Some councilors expressed concern that the motion would force staff to meet all of their expectations. As a result, an addition was made giving CEO Sheridan Graham enough flexibility to address “the overall meaning of the motion.”

“I want the county … to be seen as doing something,” said Bonnie Clark, deputy mayor of the township of Otonabee-South Monaghan. “I’ve seen all of this before and past and past, and we’ve had more deaths in our community than average.”

City councils in Niagara Falls and Thorold both voted in June to declare states of emergency over mental health, homelessness and addictions.

Brendan Burke is a reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Contact him at bburke@metroland.com.