Vernon, B.C.— Turning Points Collaborative Society would like to join the community in thanking Vernon Fire Rescue on its great response to a bushfire near the Priest Valley Gymnasium Saturday night.

The actions of our local firefighters were quick and efficient and serve as a great reminder of their commitment to the health and safety of our community.

The RCMP is now investigating the incident and Turning Points Collaborative Society is cooperating with that investigation in whatever way it can.

“The incident is both regrettable and deeply concerning,” explained Turning Points Collaborated Society executive director, Randene Wejr. “And while many of the details surrounding this incident are still unknown, Turning Points is using this as an opportunity to implement some operational changes that will help mitigate any future incidents of this nature.”

There will be an increase in the health, safety and security measures for the amalgamated shelter facility at the Vernon Curling Club as well as for the surrounding neighbourhood.

Turning Points has hired full-time security officers to provide around the clock monitoring of the site. This is in addition to the contracting of private security to monitor the surrounding area. Staffing levels have also been increased, and through a partnership with RCMP, new ways of reporting and addressing behaviours in the vicinity of the amalgamated shelter that would be considered improper have been identified.

These additional measures are designed to increase the already stringent health, safety and security measures in place at the amalgamated shelter site.

“We will continue to cooperate with RCMP in its investigation of this incident and we will continue to work closely with our community partners to create a safer, healthier community for everyone,” explained Wejr. “The health and safety of our clients, our staff and the surrounding community is a top priority.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

At Turning Points Collaborative Society we strive to create a safer, healthier community for everyone.

A Turning Points’ mandate in achieving this goal is to provide safe and supportive housing alternatives for people who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of being homeless or who are marginally housed.

Due to the complexities of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Turning Points recently amalgamated its shelter services into one site at the Vernon Curling Club, located at 3400 39 Ave in Vernon.

The need was identified for a suitable facility that was capable of housing those in the community who are experiencing homelessness in a way that allowed for self-isolation and physical distancing.

This move created a shift in the social dynamic of our community.

Over the past several weeks, in cooperation with various levels of government and community partners, Turning Points management and staff have worked tirelessly to fulfill our mandate while also finding ways to address any health and safety concerns that arise from this shift in the social dynamic of our community.

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