Steps to reduce vagrancy in St. Paul

Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt) for the St. Paul RCMP Detachment, Lee Brachmann, spoke to Town Council at their latest Council Meeting regarding his studies at Royal Roads University in BC. The S/Sgt is enrolled in a Masters program and hopes to use the Town of St. Paul and its stakeholders to help with the implementation of his research study’s findings into the vagrancy problem in the town.

The study was completed with the assistance of key social groups in the community, finding that the vagrancy problem stems from socio-economic issues. Brachmann believes that through his research study action steps were discovered that will help, “by examining how we might build stronger relationships with [the health and human services] sectors, we might start developing recommendations and solutions about how we might begin to address this issue, holistically and in a long-term basis.”

Mayor of St. Paul, Maureen Miller, commended Brachmann on his research and his ability to get all the key stakeholders together. “I want to start going with this so people don’t lose interest.” Miller offered up her help and the assistance of the town. Under Brachmann’s suggestion, Miller will sit on an ad hoc committee with the other stakeholders to continue the dialogue and discover long-term solutions to the town’s vagrancy problems.

From the committee, Brachmann suggests that a coordinator position be funded and started. The coordinator would assist clients in accessing the appropriate services available; such as the food banks, shelters, and social services. The coordinator would also develop initiatives to reduce the vagrancy in the community. The goal would also be to educate new and existing health services workers on health & human services available in the community. The committee and coordinator would serve to create healthy relationships between the multiagencies; working everywhere from social services to mental health services with the goal of reducing or eliminating vagrancy.

“We are looking for long-term solutions,” Mayor Miller says she is ready to get started and hopes for the committee to begin meeting regularly in the new year.