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REPORTING · 21st February 2013
Walter McFarlane
Councillor Mary Murphy brought a motion before Council on Monday, February 18th. The motion was to have the Housing Committee report to Council on the progress on establishing a homeless shelter in Kitimat.

“There appears to be a problem emerging in our community and I have heard about it but actually became involved over the weekend where there was a homeless person who wasn’t able to be helped anywhere,” said Murphy.

She thanked Mayor Joanne Monaghan for helping the homeless person with the issue.

“I think we need to step up to the plate as a community and start taking care of these issues before they come to beg and I heard there were people sleeping underneath [Trigo’s],” said Murphy. “There are some people sleeping in the bush behind the Keg.”

Murphy stated there is funding for this through United Way and there is a shelter in Terrace. She questioned who would take Kitimat’s homeless there if they need shelter.

Councillor Corinne Scott was happy to hear the motion changed from a prior one, to have the Housing Committee simply report on the progress they were making. She expressed the Housing Committee should already be reporting to Council.

Murphy told Council they need to be more proactive in establishing a shelter. It has been an issue which has been brought to her since she first came on Council by the religious organizations of Kitimat and the Housing Committee.

Councillor Edwin Empinado, Council’s Representative on the Housing Committee, told Council they should receive the minutes of the meetings. He told Council the Committee did a housing assessment in March and they have the results.

“There are a lot of things which are being reported in it and it’s very broad and complicated. Housing the homeless shelter is one of them. The Housing for seniors, affordable housing and we also have a facility for the young ones with mental challenges,” said Empinado.

He expressed they are meeting with Regional BC Housing. They are narrowing down what Kitimat wants to do first.

Edwin told Council Kitimat Community Services frontline services came to Council to tell them people were coming into town looking for jobs because they were told they could find a job right away and they have no place to go. They are sent to the Terrace Shelter. Women can go to Tamitik Status of Women. There is also the CDC and the Alliance Church and United Way.

He suggested meeting in camera with the people who have frontline contacts with these people.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan stated it was a task force who had the study done and the study has gone to four different people who are interested in creating housing within Kitimat. Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to send this to the housing committee and ask them about different housing needs in the community.

“A homeless shelter is a very worthy request but I know low income housing is a very immediate need and I thought I heard something about assisted living for persons with disabilities. There are number of housing needs where we have a need and I want to ensure we are putting our District of Kitimat resources into those needs that are the priorities,” said Feldhoff.

Murphy was opposed to the referral because this was something different. She stated people were coming into Kitimat and living underneath Trigos and are getting removed by the RCMP. She said there were other issues which they were facing other than financial issues. There are resources for women in the community and there are no resources for men to get back on their feet other than the good will of others in the community.

Feldhoff stated he was not against a homeless shelter, but they need a report which put everything into context and prioritized and identified what was going on. He wanted to see it in paper. The referral was called and carried.
Why are people homeless?
Comment by Janice Robinson on 27th February 2013
Every homeless person has a story. When I was young, I once found myself homeless. Why? Because I was young, and did not think ahead. I had a good paying, union job, a nice car, a motorcycle, and a nice apartment in Vancouver. I was in to having a good time with my friends, eating high on the hog, and spending my hard-earned money like there was no tomorrow...

Then.....the plywood mill, where I worked, ran out of stock to work with. The making of plywood requires trees with substantial girths. In our zeal to export/sell our superior product, we used up all the big trees. Gone! Nada. Cannot make plywood sheets with toothpicks that are only 2-3 feet around. After a lot of B.S.'ing, we were all laid off, and our plywood mills closed after the other.

There I was, jobless and unable to any longer pay for my thoughtless lifestyle. I became homeless in Vancouver, and had to return home to regroup and smarten up; to learn how to get by on less, and how to get along with room mates.

If a young person cannot do that.....they will soon find themselves homeless, or back home with Mom and Dad, or Granny.

During the course of my work, I learned that active alcoholics and/or drug addicts will soon find themselves homeless too! All their money and energies are involved with getting drunk and/or high. And who the heck can put up with a drunk or an addict on the nod (or crazy from drugs)?

I know of quite a few drunks, addicts, and tennants from hell who found their ways to Kitimat, after wearing out their welcomes with Terrace landlords and resources.
Well Scott
Comment by Apocalypse now on 25th February 2013
Who has been on TV radio and newspapers across this country ,telling everyone she went from mayor of doom to mayor of boom? Its one thing to actually have jobs going unfilled for lack of skilled labor, but we don't have that problem yet. There are more than enough locals to fill the unskilled labor jobs. we don't need people coming here with no skills and no money having to sleep in the woods or building homeless shelters. Come to town when there are jobs to be filled , until then stay home.
The Premiere is also to blame.
PS . There is a potential of billions of dollars to be spent, but we still only have a Tim Hortons.
Comment by richard on 25th February 2013
the bc goverment has been sending low income,homeless and some drug addicts from down south to hide them in the northern bc shelter to relocate and hide them for they may give hong-cover a bad reputation,while they push the whistler hwy thru for the olimpics. we still owe for that mess
for over the past 8/9 yrs.they cleaned up the city of pan handles,and sent up here. well, inflation and now wasn`t the mayor,yet ,she may new of the program of placement into the north. they arrived at the terrace shelter and have had disperued threw out the north west.another one of glen campbels ideas of clean up vancouver and surrounding area.the tax payer just keeps paying. now campbel is a embaster of canada. well done. hung-cover will let more chiness in,surrey will grow with siks,canadians will be few and far between.stores,banks already .so much for the english languge..... welcome to the new world. just who is canadas dictaters ,the question stands. sure ain`t the people. you can thank the liberal goverment.. bout time them loans bc owes get paid,never mind just paying the interest.oooooooo the liberal said ,we`ll start in 2017. olimpics is a bigger than we no. how yrs we been paying interest,selling cheap power at $39 and paying $ 97 a mk. mean while bc hrdo found a way to nail you with the smart meters. look ,we all no,and have bought the up-dated appliences,changed the light bulbs,consever our needs for power and yet our bills are higher.less comsuption,yet more dollars to run the same shit.... dam crazy whats going on. we are all so happy,arn`t we......sorry about the spelling mistakes as i didn`t have a very good education.... but my work speaks for itself. you don`t have to be the smartest canyon in the box to be a productive individual .
RE: False Hope.
Comment by Scott on 22nd February 2013
Ridiculous to say the Mayor has been or is responsible for the myth.
Billions of dollars in investments will attract, workers and those willing to move for a better life.
To blame the mayor is like blaming a news paper.
Comment by watching on 22nd February 2013
Sorry to disappoint you, but these are peple being sent here from Van EI not the Mayor. We need people with skills , non skilled we have.
False Hope..
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 21st February 2013
The mayor is the person who for the most part has created thissituation. She is constantly preaching how much work there is in kitimat . People from far and wide keep reading and hearing this myth , that she keeps perpetuating and come here only to find that there is no pot of gold at the end of our rainbow.

I am willing to guess that these homeless people are for the most part unskilled labor. Kitimat can supply the unskilled labor at this time, Our residents need the jobs.

So please your honorable Mayor ,do us a favor and let the employers an the EI department find the manpower when it is needed. There is no reason why Kitimat should have people living in bushes or alley ways.