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Community Safety, Substance Use & Homelessness – Promising Paths Forward

2019-09-18 @ 11:00 am 1:00 pm

Canadian communities are facing unprecedented challenges related to opiate and amphetamine addiction, housing instability, and mental health. What is the role of public systems – such as policing, homelessness, health, and mental health – in this context? Are there promising approaches we can learn from as we consider our local response?

Alina Turner will provide an overview of the role of diverse systems in responding collectively to these challenges. She will outline broad trends and promising approaches HelpSeeker has observed through their systems change work in over 100 communities.

Dale McFee recently joined Edmonton’s Police Service as Chief after leading significant efforts of systems reform for the Government of Saskatchewan and the Prince Albert Police Service. He spearheaded the innovative Hub Model – an example of Integrated Coordinated Access – that brings together diverse systems to respond locally to common challenges.

Susan McGee is the CEO of Homeward Trust, the lead Systems Planner Organization in Edmonton driving homelessness efforts. Susan will speak to the local efforts towards systems integration around community safety, homelessness, and addictions/mental health and implications for Coordinated Access operations.

Dan Breault is the Manager of Community Safety and Well-Being with the City of Toronto. He will provide an overview of the local approach to Coordinated Access across systems relating to community safety challenges, which are often interrelated with homelessness and housing instability challenges.

Martin Thomsen is the Manager of Social Development at the City of Lethbridge. Lethbridge has been hit hard by the drug crisis; it’s home to Canada’s busiest supervised consumption site, experienced significant jumps in addiction-related crime and their homeless count in the last two years. Martin will provide an overview of local innovative efforts to address these challenges with a focus on individual wellbeing, systems integration, and community governance.