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Province must do more to help homeless: Bancroft mayor

Bancroft’s mayor says a new overnight shelter in town is a “band-aid” solution to help the homeless.  And the Ontario government needs to do more to address this and other social issues long-term.

Paul Jenkins made the comments at the start of Tuesday’s council meeting. 

“We thank everyone involved for putting this together,” he says. “However, this is only a band-aid solution as a more sustainable, permanent system needs to be put in place.

“Homelessness, addiction and mental health are issues that are widespread across Canada and have increased in both scope and magnitude since the onset of the pandemic. 

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“The Bancroft/North Hastings area has not been immune from the situation, with scant physical and financial resources to help deal with the problem.

“Mayors from both large and smaller centres have called on the provincial government for tangible programs and funding with very little acknowledgement of the crisis that exists.”

The shelter was put together quickly last month by North Hastings Community Trust, with funding from Hastings County. At the time, there was no overnight shelter, nor a day-time warming centre in Bancroft. 

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