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MPP Bresee says he’ll work with Bancroft to solve homelessness issues

The MPP who represents Bancroft says he wants to work with the town to solve homelessness issues.

Hastings-Lennox & Addington’s Ric Bresee says he’s aware of the Mill Street property where people have been living in shacks and how the town has been receiving complaints about it. 

He said he shares Mayor Paul Jenkins’ concern that it’s a complex problem, and needs to be dealt with in a humanitarian way, with the work of all levels of government. 

“I’ve had several meetings with the town, (Hastings) County, the social services providers.  We’re trying to find the right set of solutions to this.  

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“Mayor Jenkins is absolutely correct. The federal and provincial and municipal governments have to work together to make this work. There are elements of this where the police are finding their hands are tied. There are elements of frustration for social services and the county, for the lower tier municipalities, like Bancroft. It is a challenging situation for everybody.”

Bresee says one possible solution for the town is to look into the province’s Social Service Relief Fund, which was created in 2020, to create long-term housing solutions. 

“It’s a matter of working through all of the various programs and applications to get the (money) to where it needs to go,” he says. “I’ll leave it to the staff and local politicians to best come up with the right solutions  and then very much support their applications as they go through this process.”

Bresee says Bancroft isn’t alone in struggling with a homeless problem, as there are similar concerns in other communities within the vast riding, including in Greater Napanee.

Several shacks can be seen on this property off Mill Street in Bancroft. The area has alerted the town to a homelessness problem. Photo by Stephen Petrick, Moose FM
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