Community Mitigation Strategies and Ongoing Engagement for a Consumption and Treatment Services Site in Hamilton’s Ward 3
This report is an expansion of our previously submitted Community Consultation and Engagement Report for a Consumption and Treatment Services Site in Hamilton’s Ward 3 – November 2021.
Some of the information contained within this expanded report also appears in our previously submitted report, however some strategies have been expanded to include additional planning processes, proactive actionable strategies, and existing methods currently being implemented throughout our existing programming.
This report demonstrates our thoughtful commitment to the ongoing engagement of the community and the ways in which we will mitigate community concerns. We have developed these strategies and considerations based on our own consultation processes, as well as though the on-going consultations with other CTS sites including Urban Core – Hamilton, Positive Living Niagara – St. Catharines, the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection – London, as well as general consultation with the Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN).
Safety considerations have been made in the best interest of the general community around the proposed location as well as people accessing services at the space. The proposed model of staffing includes peer engagement roles that will be responsible for engaging with people in and out of the space to help navigate group dynamics among service users and other community members. These roles will also be an integral part in planning for ongoing community engagement, education and awareness activities, and program evaluation to ensure that the voice of people with lived experiences is central to service delivery and implementation.
Practical safety considerations are also reflected in the proposed budget with the installation of security cameras and third-party security staffing. This will ensure that the site is accountable to community and being proactive to mitigate any safety concerns and concerns about increased police presence in the area.
Access to Wraparound Services
The vision for this site is to create a centre with life saving overdose response and daily on-site services with organizations and groups that work from a harm reduction framework. To date, we have confirmed commitment from groups and organizations that will provide a variety of weekly on-site supports ranging from peer activities, clinical services including primary care and addiction medicine, Indigenous-based services, mental health supports, and substance use and mental health services for youth.
We strongly believe that this model of service is a benefit to the community and will address existing concerns that are present in Ward 3.
Ongoing Community Engagement
As part of the community consultation process, The AIDS Network has created mechanisms for community to reach us including a dedicated email address, social media channels, and online surveys.
These will continue and be expanded on as part of an ongoing community engagement plan.
Education and Awareness
With our organization’s history in harm reduction programming, it is within our existing funding mandate to provide community capacity building and education related to harm reduction. In collaboration with community partners, there are plans being made to host an online panel discussion with representatives from the medical community, Disability Justice Network Ontario, and people with lived experiences as speakers.
Further to that we will continue to develop educational materials and resource materials by print and for digital sharing.
Program Evaluation and Report Back
Using surveys and discussion groups, ongoing feedback will be received for program evaluation and program planning. This will align with our current priorities of ensuring effectiveness and quality programming to inform ongoing service delivery.
We will develop a weekly newsletter, which will be available through our website and existing social media accounts (including website, Facebook, Instagram, twitter) and in print, which will provide regular updates, report on trends identified within the community, provide information on community events, and opportunities for increased engagement.
Our existing relationships with the community and community stakeholders, as well as with those who are eager to support our proposed CTS will allow us to ensure a consistent and ongoing flow of information and reporting directly back into the community, as well as add increased accountability to funders, stakeholders, and all members of the community.