Town hall meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Community Safety Town Hall on May 28 at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre.

Feedback received focused on downtown conditions, with specific attention to the lower Patricia Boulevard encampment (LPBE). Key concerns voiced by residents included housing, air quality, and transition plans for the court-protected encampment. The feedback received is being used to shape future engagement and inform ongoing efforts.

In total, the City received 40 feedback forms, 20 emails, and 94 questions submitted through the Slido app during the event. There were more than 40 questions and comments addressed during the session.

The City and BC Housing have provided the following answers to the most frequently asked questions that weren’t answered at the town hall meeting.

What we heard

On June 11, Council met to go over the feedback received and identify actionable items. On June 24, a report outlining a phased approach to better manage the encampment was endorsed by Council. The phased approach consists of:

  • Phase One: Build Capacity
    • Current efforts focus on building community capacity to provide suitable daytime facilities and low-barrier housing while managing health and safety issues at the Lower Patricia Boulevard Encampment (LPBE) and downtown. Find information available BC Housing spaces here.
  • Phase Two: Demonstrate Capacity and Alternatives
    • The City plans to approach the British Columbia Supreme Court as early as Q4 2024 to demonstrate that conditions are appropriate for transitioning the LPBE site to other forms of housing.
  • Phase Three: Transition to Other Forms of Housing
    • Beginning as early as Q1 2025, the City, working with partners, plans to transition the entrenched LPBE to other forms of sheltering, supported by new facilities and designated outdoor sheltering locations.
  • Phase Four: Maintain Capacity and Prevent Entrenchment
    • The City will continue working with partners to address new needs and prevent any campsites from becoming entrenched.

Additional actions include:

  • Encampment Boundary Delineation:
    • Boundaries will be physically marked with fencing and signage to help bring clarity to the space and deter individuals from illegal dumping.
  • Reinvigoration of the Community Safety Hub:
    • Coordination efforts among partner agencies will be enhanced.
  • Increased Cleanup Efforts:
    • Ongoing cleanup efforts will continue to improve conditions at the LPBE. This week, clean-up efforts continued to improve congestion with remediation of burnt sites.
  • Overnight Sheltering Model Exploration:
    • Staff will review sites for Council consideration where temporary overnight sheltering may be suitable within the city.
  • Timelines and Goals for Transitional Shelter Facility (TSF):
    • The TSF construction is anticipated to be completed by fall 2024, marking the transition to Phase Two. BC Housing confirmed that site preparation work is now complete and the modular units are in the process of being installed by ATCO Structures and Logistics Ltd. Over the coming weeks, there will be construction activity at this site between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Read the full news release.