Local resident Brian Watson wants to start a mobile Outreach Unit in Quesnel to help care for individuals with homelessness, mental illness or victims of natural disasters.
He is hosting a meeting at Tim Hortons on Highway 97 South, starting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10 to discuss options.
Watson says he already has support from Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre. Representatives from Tillicum and Seasons House as well as Jarrett Whalen, who will be co-chairing the meeting, of Dengarry Professional Services, will be attending the meeting.
Watson says he’s also invited the RCMP, the Mayor, MLA and Northern Health Mental Health and Addictions to the meeting.
The general public is also invited to provide input and ask questions at the meeting.
The meeting is to get more help for individuals in Quesnel who are on the streets.
“It would give people with homelessness, mental illness, depression or suffering from natural disasters a chance to get the resources that can come to them so they feel safe and comfortable in their own environment and don’t feel comfortable coming to a fixed area.”
Watson says he’s researched the Edmonton Hope Mission Team, which is doing the same thing.
“They work closely with emergency services to help alleviate some of the non-life-threatening calls it receives….
“When I moved to Fort St. John, I had a similar case with homelessness. I didn’t know anybody there, I was living out of my truck and I was relying on the services Fort St. John offered.”
He adds they had a food vehicle in Fort St. John.
“When I came back to Quesnel, I figured Quesnel could use a food vehicle and reach out to the street people and give them the things to get them through.”
Watson says he doesn’t think the volunteer workers will need special training because they won’t be offering medical services or advice about what to do or where to go for help.
“We’ll give them contacts of who they may want to get in touch with, but we won’t play hospital administrators….
“We’ll help ease their transition. If they need to be transported to a shelter, we supply that and give them some food.
“If they don’t want to stay at a shelter, we’ll give them a blanket and warm gloves to get them through. We’ll do anything we can to alleviate their stress on the streets and into a more comfortable scenario.”
For more information, call Brian at 250-991-2527.