The Province is funding new, collaborative interventions that will help connect vulnerable people to the services and support they need.
Government is providing the City of Penticton with a $50,000 grant to support the creation of a situation table. Situation tables bring agencies together so they can work collaboratively to ensure vulnerable communities get the best care and support needed, as well as prevent crises and reduce risk of harms, such as crime and overdose.
“Many of the issues that negatively impact community well-being and safety, such as chronic social issues, public health concerns and crime, require collaborative multi-agency responses,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “This funding will bring together teams from various health, social service agencies and first responders to determine how to proactively address the needs of individuals where there is elevated risk in the community of Penticton and connect them to the services they need, when they need them.”
The Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach is leading and supporting efforts to develop new, and enhance existing, situation tables in B.C. Penticton’s community active support table (CAST), will be the third situation table operating in B.C.
“This grant will make it easier to develop pathways to treatment in Penticton, so people who need it can access the right supports quickly, when they need them,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Rapid access to a full spectrum of treatment options and support services is critical to saving lives, and helping people find a pathway to hope and recovery.”
Over the last few years, situation tables have been established in communities throughout British Columbia, including the Surrey mobilization and resilience table and the Mission active support table. The experiences of the cities of Surrey and Mission demonstrate that situation tables can empower agencies to make improvements in the lives of vulnerable people when they are most in need of support.
“We are grateful for the Province’s partnership as these social and safety concerns cannot be solved by one entity alone,” said Andrew Jakubeit, mayor of Penticton. “As our community’s tolerance and empathy for bad behaviours diminishes and we step up enforcement, we must also ensure services and supports are in place to help those who are ready for change, or those who are vulnerable, get the help they need to be a positive part of our community. CAST helps address the root causes and will have a beneficial impact on a safer and healthier Penticton.”
Evidence-based, best-practice approaches like these help frontline workers anticipate when a co-ordinated effort to provide services can prevent significant harm to vulnerable people who are experiencing heightened levels of risk in a specific community.