Duncan mayor Michelle Staples said the $30,000 grant from the province to create a community-based team of front-line workers to deliver better, faster access to services for vulnerable people is much needed. (File photo)

Duncan mayor Michelle Staples said the $30,000 grant from the province to create a community-based team of front-line workers to deliver better, faster access to services for vulnerable people is much needed. (File photo)

Cowichan Valley gets $30,000 grant to help vulnerable people

Money used to create a team of front-line workers to deliver better, faster access to services.

People in Duncan and North Cowichan who are at risk of harm or victimization will benefit from a $30,000 grant to create a community-based team of front-line workers to deliver better, faster access to services.

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.

“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.”

Michelle Staples, mayor of Duncan, said the situation table model has been proven successful in many other places that it was established.

“This is something that we’ve been asking for in our region for years now, the ability for police, front-line workers, health-care workers, local governments, bylaws and others to understand the problems and work together to solve them,” she said.

“It will help reduce demands over the long term on emergency services and resources while at the same time, working to proactively connect people to the services they need before they experience negative or traumatic behaviours or events and help get them back on track.”

Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, added that this new tool will enable greater collaboration among service providers so people at risk can get the help they need quickly and safely.

“Our government is listening to the needs of people and investing in solutions that will benefit the vulnerable and marginalized,” he said.

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