The growing number of seniors, lack of affordable housing and youth with substance abuse and mental health issues are three of the main concerns facing Delta, according to a recent report by the municipality.
Delta’s social profile was presented at regular council meeting on Feb. 20, 2017. A review of needs in the community and services available to address those needs, the social profile is the first of its kind created by the municipality as it seeks to expand its social planning capacity.
Housing is the major problem identified in the report. The most immediate concern is a lack of emergency housing, this includes transitional housing (i.e. for women fleeing abuse) or extreme weather shelters. Other problems include very low vacancy rates for rental housing and lack of accessible housing.
Service gaps exist for youth with “concurrent disorders”, youth that have both addiction issues and mental health issues. Many of the services only exist outside the community. Gillian McLeod, social planner and author of the report, highlighted this as a major concern at the council meeting.
There is also a growing population of seniors in the community and social service agencies are overloaded. Concerns include poverty, isolation and lack of housing options.
More than 100 different agencies exist in the municipality, dealing with the community’s needs, most working with health and healthy communities. Yet a lack of knowledge on the part of the public and some of the agencies exists, both about what social service agencies are out there and what they offer.