Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley is part of a call by local politicians for the province to implement complex care housing solutions.
Hurley is one of 13 mayors highlighting a video calling for help to “support the most vulnerable residents” in their communities, with a news release by the group of mayors saying that people with mental health issues are displaying “erratic behaviour” are committing crimes and need complex care supports. The video can be seen below.
“Since being formed in the summer of 2020, the mayors have been in conversations with the Ministries of Mental Health and Addiction, Health, Housing, Municipal Affairs, Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Justice, advocating to see appropriate housing and supports for people with complex needs to be operational in a matter of months, not years,” says a news release. The mayors are from Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Richmond, Saanich, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.
“Our most vulnerable residents need access to the housing, mental health and addiction support they need to heal,” Hurley tweeted. “The street is not a solution.”
The video highlights the “strain that leaving those with complex needs out on the streets is having on our communities and on the vulnerable people requiring care,” said a news release. “Residents with complex needs have overlapping mental health, substance use, trauma and acquired brain injuries and they are often left to experience homelessness. They do not fit into current supportive housing models, they do not fit within long-term healthcare systems, and if they commit crimes, they do not fit within the overloaded justice system which perpetuates a catch and release cycle.”
The BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus Blueprint for British Columbia’s Urban Future, outlines four key priorities for urban communities across the province:
- Mental Health, Substance Use and Treatment
- Affordable Housing
- Public Transit
- A New Fiscal Framework
If people want to find out more, they can visit www.bcurbanmayorscaucus.ca.