- Mayor John Dooley & City Council, RCMP, Nelson City Police & community of Nelson BC.
There is a housing crisis in Nelson BC. According to the Annual Report Card on Homelessness for Nelson & area: Nelson has the lowest vacancy rate in BC, one of the highest rates of people paying more than half of their income on rent and homelessness has increased by 24% in the last 3 years.
43% of women and over 40% of local homeless men have been diagnosed with mental health issues, people with disabilities receiving PWD income make up 30% of the shelter population and there are many more still not receiving benefits. Of people on income assistance with disabilities 38% are homeless, 44% are in unaffordable or unsafe housing with only 18% living in stable affordable housing.
The local support services in Nelson are doing amazing work, but are stretched beyond their means and unable to provide services adequate to all of these needs. Many local organizations and services are already in full support, as they have been trying to encourage this idea for years.
As the Occupy Nelson camp has brought more attention to the vital need for action on this crisis, there is now more support to move this forward; but, for an action of this scale we believe community encouragement and involvement would get this up and running quicker, more effectively and as soon as possible.
We, the undersigned, call on The Mayor, City Council, R.C.M.P. Nelson City Police & Nelson area community members to allow people a safe place to camp when unable to find housing; free from harassment and arrest for such charges as 'loitering' etc, where outreach workers, nurses, community members & volunteers could help with regular visits to try to meet the needs of the people, located close enough to town to access other services and opportunities.
We believe that as we cannot possibly house everyone overnight and winter is on its way, there is an immediate need for this type of "triage solution" and would as well like to see in the long term, free places to camp for houseless, homeless and/or nomadic people.
We believe this would increase the safety, security and sense of community for our locals who have no other options.
The Allow Houseless & Homeless a Safe place to Camp in Nelson. petition to Mayor John Dooley & City Council, RCMP, Nelson City Police & community of Nelson BC. was written by Occupy Nelson and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.