Gary Edmonds, left, is a regular member of the Clean Team with the program coordinator Jenny McDougall, right.                                Annie Gallant photo

Gary Edmonds, left, is a regular member of the Clean Team with the program coordinator Jenny McDougall, right. Annie Gallant photo

Quesnel’s Clean Team ready to respond

Clean Team picks up litter as well as drug paraphenalia for a cleaner Quesnel

After noticing the overwhelming amount of garbage, litter and dangerous paraphernalia on the streets of Quesnel, Jenny McDougall started picking it up in the alleys, streets and around businesses. She envisioned taking this task to the next level and founded the Clean Team (formerly the Green Team).

As a peer support and liaison worker with Seasons House clients, Jenny initially discussed the Clean Team concept with them and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“They were lined up to volunteer,” she says.

“These clients want to help make the community better.”

In June 2017, Jenny and her volunteer Clean Team began cleaning up the streets, including the hazardous material.

Jenny has also liaised with stakeholders in the battle for cleaner streets. She co-ordinates her various Clean Teams with these groups including City Hall, Downtown Association and others.

Currently the program is financially supported with funds from Quesnel Shelter and Support Society (QSSS) and anyone looking to have the Clean Team come to their area can contact Seasons House.

This year, Jenny’s Clean Team will receive remuneration for their efforts, thanks to QSSS.

Jenny is also introducing, this spring, the Spring Clean, which will be a five-day blitz of areas such as sch0ols, businesses, day cares as well as any calls for specialized dangerous litter clean up.

“We don’t go on private property, nor do we interfere with city staff’s existing jobs; we complement in areas they don’t cover,” she says.

“The blitz is part of a year-long pilot project to demonstrate the need for the Clean Team services.”

Jenny added they are looking for municipal and corporate funding and assures the public they won’t be soliciting donations or any other money either door-to-door or business-to-business.

The Clean Team is comprised of people who are vulnerable to homelessness or substance use (past or present). Jenny is very familiar with these clients as she herself has a history of long-term homelessness in Vancouver and also admits she was a heroin addict for many years.

“I’ve been clean and sober for seven years,” she says with pride.

“I accomplished this after returning to my hometown, Quesnel.”

If anyone needs the services of the Clean Team, call Seasons House, 250-991-0222 or Jenny, 250-316-0806.