A new group will start meeting next week in Sudbury to figure out how to help people who are in crisis.
Called Community Mobilization Sudbury, the group involves a team of representatives from social agencies such as the health unit, addictions, mental health, and police.
Team manager Stephanie Lefebvre said workers will identify people in need of intervention and offer treatment. The goal is to get people out of harm's way before they find themselves in terrible situations, such as being injured, or in jail.
“If we can connect people to services simply to get them out of harm's way, that's our first goal,” she said.
They will meet twice a week to discuss people who they believe are in a dire situation — from a teen living with a violent parent or to a pregnant woman who is addicted.
“Among the things we will be evaluating, long-term, are things like crime rates, school truancy rates, [and] emergency room visits.”
Lefebvre said those who qualify will get an intervention and will be offered help.
The model seems to be working in North Bay, says Brent Kalinowski, a retired police officer from Prince Albert, Sask., and founding member of Community Mobilization in Prince Albert who is project manager for North Bay's Community Mobilization.
It's only been a few months, but “people edging onto criminality, and with some mental health and drug issues still connected, haven't been in the police radar for three months,” he said.
The team works to keep people from bottoming out so they don't end up in situations they can't get out of, such as jail, Kalinowski added.