The Community Safety and Well-Being Plan One Year Later 
It’s been just over one year since City Council gave the green light to Timmins’ first-ever Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (the Plan) with the goal of achieving a sustainable community where everyone feels safe and has a sense of belonging. The Plan was robust and outlined a framework of four strategic priorities that, through public engagement, had been identified as primary concerns for the community.

Now, one year later, the Systems Leadership Committee responsible for overseeing the Plan are highlighting some of the advances made towards addressing homelessness, mental health and addictions, and overall safety and well-being.

“From the very beginning, this plan was based on community collaboration,” says Community Strategies Coordinator Meagan Baranyk. “The Plan cannot work unless it is considered a shared responsibility tackled by an engaged group of service providers, organizations and residents. After a year, we’ve seen an increase in agency collaboration; partnerships are being forged to share resources and improve care; and, programs are being developed that recognize how each priority interacts and impacts the community.”

Over the last year, Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB) and Living Space have been working towards implementing a new program called the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) that measures the number of people on the street and in shelters, including their length of stay. The program will allow service providers to access real-time data to coordinate care services and ultimately supports CDSSAB’s work as “Community Entity” for the federal government’s Reaching Home program. Work done through Reaching Home will build on the connection between Living Space operations and potential housing solutions to guide decisions and focus on sustainable solutions to homelessness.

With the opening of Safe Health Site Timmins (SHST) in early July, Timmins’ leapt to the forefront of the proactive reduction of opioid poisonings and overdose deaths. It is a first for Timmins and was preceded by an extensive education campaign to help address community concerns and reduce misinformation. Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) and Timmins and Area Drug Strategy (TADS) have been instrumental in the operation of SHST and, overall, there has been an increase in provincial government funding to increase specialized addictions treatment at both the TADH and Jubilee Centre. A needs assessment and feasibility study for a permanent Consumption Treatment Service has been completed and the application process, including a source of funding, is now underway.

TADS has also started work to engage people with lived experience navigating service systems related to mental health and substance abuse. Earlier this year, the People with Lived Experience (PWLE) action group was initiated to increase the representation and active involvement of persons with lived experience, since their expertise and guidance is invaluable in providing community support. TADS members representing over 25 agencies have also begun planning for recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) in Timmins. IOAD is the world's largest annual campaign to end overdose, honour those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of friends and family. IOAD takes place August 31, 2022.

“We’ve learned a lot in our first year of navigating the Plan,” says Systems Leadership Committee Co-Chair Jamie Clark. “It is a community plan and we’ve been aided by a number of local organizations like the Timmins Police Service, Downtown Timmins BIA, and non-profits like the Anti-Hunger Coalition who have similar goals and key commitments. It’s rewarding to see the community come together and promote an overall sense of inclusion, understanding, diversity and well-being. All four priorities remain in place as we move forward and we intend on providing quarterly updates as we reach more targeted outcomes.”

When asked if he felt the Plan was working Clark added, “Anytime we can point towards more collaboration and an increase in partnerships amongst our service providers, it’s a win. Collaboration reduces repetition, makes more efficient use of resources, and makes navigating the service system easier for our most vulnerable. Each strategic priority is connected and impacts the community’s overall safety and well-being.”

Read the full annual update and learn more about the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan online at This is Timmins’ plan and together we are making it a success!
Posted by Amanda Dyer On 8/29/2022 at 9:49 AM  

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