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Model advances public safety, connects people to services in Powell River

May 1, 2024 at 1:36 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

People in Powell River will be better served by a collaborative approach to complex social challenges that brings together a diverse range of front-line workers to deliver faster access to services for individuals at risk of harm or victimization.

Safe Community Situation Tables bring together front-line workers from the public safety, health and social-service sectors to identify high-risk individuals and rapidly connect them to services and supports they need before they experience a negative or traumatic event.

“Safe Community Situation Tables ensure that people remain the focus as we work to build safer, stronger communities,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “By combining front-line workers’ expertise, the tables strengthen the ability to respond to community safety challenges, better protecting people while swiftly connecting them to essential services.”

The Province currently has 36 operational Safe Community Situation Tables. Members of the Powell River table are expected to complete training and onboarding in the coming months, and the partners will meet on a weekly basis to address issues pertaining to their community, such as mental health and addictions, homelessness, poverty and survival crime.  

“By bringing together front-line workers from different agencies, we should be able to get people connected with appropriate services more efficiently,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “Situation Tables can be very helpful for communities to use by coming together to proactively support vulnerable individuals. I’m glad this initiative is coming to Powell River as it can help make our community safer and stronger.”

The model provides a structured, collaborative approach to managing complex or urgent circumstances by bringing together key groups and using systematic processes to mitigate risk and develop plans to respond more effectively and efficiently to the needs of each individual. Furthermore, aggregate data analysis helps policy-makers assess gaps and risks in their local communities.

The tables are considered an effective way to improve community safety and well-being by enabling community front-line workers to:

  • proactively identify risks through real-time information sharing;
  • reduce long-term demand on emergency and police resources;
  • leverage and co-ordinate existing community assets and relationships between health supports, victim services and culturally safe support and services;
  • plan and deliver collaborative interventions before an incident occurs; and
  • reduce increased risk in people’s lives.

The Province is supporting Powell River with a $72,000 grant to assist with implementation. Since 2018, more than $3 million has been provided in grants to B.C. regions and communities to facilitate local Safe Community Situation Tables, Intervention Circles and other related initiatives. There are 44 funded Situation Tables and Intervention Circles in B.C. Thirty-six of these are operational and the other eight are under implementation.

Safe Community Situation Tables are advancing the Safer Communities Action Plan’s goal of creating safe, healthy communities for everyone. The tables build on the programs, services and initiatives the Province has undertaken or implemented to strengthen enforcement to break the cycle of violence and crime, and to strengthen services to keep communities safe and healthy.

Quote:

Ron Woznow, mayor, Powell River –

“We are grateful to Minister Farnworth for meeting with council at UBCM last September, leading to this grant-funded opportunity to establish a situation table. This table will help to proactively connect our community, principally vulnerable people, to the appropriate health and social services they need while reducing demand on our emergency and police resources. Creating an environment for enhanced collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst our front-line staff supporting vulnerable individuals and families is a key development for the safety and well-being of our community.”

Learn More:

For more information about Safe Community Situation Tables, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/policing-in-bc/collaborative-public-safety-program/situation-tables

For more information about ways the Province is making communities safer for everyone, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/safer-communities

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