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Mayor's downtown homeless Task Team says it has productive meeting with discussions about downtown problems

Work is underway to expand hours at the warming shelter, providing a bathroom and more eating spaces
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Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said Wednesday's meeting of the Task Team to deal with homelessness and other downtown concerns was "productive". (File)

Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said Wednesday's meeting of the Task Team to deal with homelessness and other downtown concerns was "productive" as the group talked about identifying caps in service, leveraging existing strategies with partner groups, building organic partnerships and engaging more with the public.

The statement was released late in the afternoon and said "more information will be available in the near future, but efforts are underway on engaging with community groups, people with lived experiences, business owners and the community at large."  

Nothing specific was revealed. 

The statement said the current group, consisting of community leaders at the municipal and provincial levels, "are applying their resources, expertise and networks to help establish and implement how we take on this problem."

The statement also revealed that "a lot has been going on in the background, on the streets and at the council table" with such things as city council  passing a motion supporting more transition housing, expanded hours at warming shelter and the availability and dignity of a warm bathroom people can use. 

The statement also revealed an increase in 50 more seats for dining and rest away from the elements during the cold winter ahead. There is also an increased police presence in the downtown to ensure the safety of vulnerable citizens.

"We have installed better lighting, been removing graffiti - we are doing our best to remedy the early symptoms while continuing to address a very complex set of issues. We've reacted quickly to implement these items," the statement continued. 

"There is a lot more to do and we will require the expertise and help of many more organizations that are willing to follow this calling. As a group we are working hard, we are working together and I am proud of what this Task Team has accomplished so far and I look forward to what we will achieve as we pursue a goal of ending homelessness in Greater Sudbury," the statement concluded.