29 different organizations and over 50 people were on hand at a meeting of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Wednesday.

They were focusing in on issues like addiction, mental health, poverty and crime.

Mayor Al McDonald says there’a sense of everyone wanting to come together and improve the situation.

He says the group is looking at short, medium and long term strategies.

“We’re not going to solve every problem. It’s impossible. These issues are so complex. The community wants to know that we’re working together to find as many solutions as possible and that’s happening,” he says.

Mary Davis is the Executive Director of Nipissing Mental Health Housing and Support Services and she chaired the meeting.

She says the most urgent need is to provide housing regardless of the circumstances someone is in but there’s fear too.

“There is a lot of fear especially downtown. The goal though is to look at mental health and addiction as the problem it is and not the perception that it’s something to fear,” Davis says.

One possibility is the health unit re-instituting the certificate program for those that bring in used needles.

The larger group has now been broken down into a smaller working group with the next full meeting set for November.

McDonald says some solutions will start to roll out in the next couple of weeks.


Filed under: addictions, mayors-roundtable, mental-health