People in Smithers who are at risk of harm or victimization will benefit from a $45,000 grant to create a community-based team of front-line workers to deliver better, faster access to services.
“We want to see all people, particularly those who are vulnerable and high risk, receive the right support and services they need, when they need them,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “By investing in creating these teams in communities throughout the province, we’re helping front-line workers rapidly connect with people in crisis, while freeing up police to focus on serious and organized criminal activity.”
The teams, known as “situation tables,” are made up of representatives from health, public safety and social service agencies. They proactively identify vulnerable individuals or families who have a significant probability of criminal offending or experiencing harm or victimization, and rapidly connect them to services before they experience a negative or traumatic event.
Funding is provided by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach. The office has invested more than $1.1 million since 2017 to develop new tables or enhance existing ones, with another $240,000 to provide funding to seven more communities this year.
There are currently 10 situation tables operating in B.C., with work underway on 11 more.
Gladys Atrill, mayor, Town of Smithers –
“On behalf of council, we are thrilled that Smithers will receive funding to establish a situation table. We know there are individuals in our community who struggle with myriad issues, and we rely on many community organizations to provide assistance. A situation table will bring those organizations together and will use a community safety approach to improve the personal well-being of vulnerable people.”
Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine –
“Connecting at-risk people with the services they need will help make our community a safer and more caring place for everyone, which is what the people of northwestern B.C. are all about. With this new initiative, we can make sure we’re using available resources in Smithers in the best way possible and that people are getting the help they need from the organizations best suited to provide that help.”
Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –
“To better connect vulnerable people with the services that can prevent crisis, crime and disorder, situation tables problem solve one case at a time, so at-risk individuals get the help they need. In 2019, 54% of situation table cases were transferred from police to social services, so police could focus on criminals instead.”