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City of Yellowknife considers community advisory board on homelessness

Yellowknife, NWT – With the downtown Yellowknife day shelter slated to close at month’s end, the issue of homelessness continues to be a hot topic at City Hall.

Last week, councillors voted unanimously to approve the terms of reference for the development of a community advisory board on homelessness.

Mayor Mark Heyck says that’s a good next step.

“It’s something that the city’s been involved in for several years now since the homeless coalition was started many years ago. There was a time when the municipality of Yellowknife wasn’t intimately involved with the issue of homelessness. We provided land for development but we weren’t quite that involved.”

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With some downtown homeless people, soon to have nowhere to go during the day, we asked Heyck if the city has plans to work more closely with RCMP.

“We’ve actually initiated monthly meetings between myself, some of our senior management and the RCMP. We wanted to strengthen that relationship to make sure that the lines of communication were open so that we could express any concerns we were hearing from our constituents and the RCMP could let us know what initiatives they were undertaking.”

RCMP say they’re going to use bicycles and a van to try to keep vagrants and people who’ve had too much to drink off Yellowknife streets this summer.

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