Nanaimo council is trying to clean up the downtown area with the allocation of $350,645 in response to health, social and safety issues in the city centre.
The funding, approved at a council meeting Monday night, will create daytime security service, three portable toilets, added safe syringe disposal boxes and continuing the Unitarian Fellowship at Caledonia Park shower program.
There will funding for an extreme weather shelter next year and additional garbage cans in the city centre.
The funding will also contribute to John Howard Society programs including rent-supplement and contracted clean-up service.
There will be an annual contribution of $100,000 for the creation and operation of a health and wellness resource centre to provide support for the homeless during the day.
“The increased incidence of homelessness in our community requires a vigorous response that addresses all aspects of this issue,” Nanaimo Social Planner John Horn said in a statement.
“We believe that the recommendations approved by Nanaimo City Council will go a long way to enhance the attractiveness of our downtown and at the same time meet the needs of those without permanent housing.”
“The issue of discarded syringes and lack of public washrooms are key issues identified by downtown stakeholders, and we are pleased to invest in public infrastructure and services that will respond effectively to these concerns,” Mayor Bill Mckay said.