Parksville council to appoint member to homelessness task force

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Parksville council will once again be represented on the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness.

The city received correspondence from Violet Hayes, task force co-chair and executive director of Island Crisis Care Society, confirming the group would welcome a Parksville council liaison.

Coun. Doug O’Brien’s motion to appoint a member to the task force was passed during council’s Feb. 7 meeting. Mayor Ed Mayne then appointed Coun. Marylin Wilson to the position. 

A previous motion by Wilson to appoint a Parksville liaison was defeated during council’s Jan. 17 meeting. After that motion failed, Mayne said the city would contact the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness and ask if a liaison position was still available.

Parksville council had an appointed liaison on the task force from its inception in 2010 until July 2019 when it decided to no longer participate in meetings. Council declined an invitation to rejoin the task force in June 2020, according to Susanna Newton, task force co-chair.

The task force works to address homelessness and related issues in Oceanside, from Nanoose to Deep Bay and inland to Whiskey Creek.

The group identified 87 people experiencing homelessness in the region when it conducted a point in time homelessness count in April 2021, according to its website. The 2018 count identified 42 individuals. Point in time counts provide a snapshot of people who are experiencing homelessness in a 24-hour period, their demographic characteristics and service use.

Current task Force members include representatives from the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Career Centre, Forward House Community Society, Island Crisis Care Society, Manna Homeless Society, Oceanside Health Centre, OHEARTS, Oceanside RCMP, the Regional District of Nanaimo, Society of Organized Services (SOS), the Town of Qualicum Beach and Vancouver Island Regional Library.

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