Like every community, Prince George is managing complex social issues associated with two concurrent health emergencies: the ongoing opioid overdose crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The response has involved multiple government ministries, Northern Health, the RCMP, the business sector, and numerous community-based organizations all working to improve the health and safety of the unsheltered homeless while addressing related community impacts.
To address persistent and multi-faceted social issues like homelessness, substance use, and mental illness, responding agencies must connect and communicate to ensure their activities are coordinated. With this goal in mind, the City of Prince George, in collaboration with its partners, has launched the Community Safety Hub to enhance and support multi-jurisdictional service coordination.
The Community Safety Hub, which opened on April 6 on 2nd Avenue and George Street, serves as a critical connection point for many of the core agencies across governments and non-profit sectors that regularly contend with some of society’s most complex issues. While the uses for the Hub are still evolving, the location provides flexible work and meeting space for City Bylaw Services, Northern Health, BC Housing, RCMP including the Downtown Safety Unit, the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, Downtown Prince George, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and more.
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Notably, the Hub is not a “public facing” office and members of the public should contact participating agencies directly through their established communication channels (e.g. dialing 9-1-1 during an emergency or 3-1-1 to reach the City’s Service Centre) to report a problem or request further information.
The establishment of the Hub was one of the key commitments approved by Council that are contained in a report from the Select Committee on a Safe, Clean, and Inclusive Community.
Building renovation costs ($107,000) were funded by the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program Grant. Operating costs are also covered by the grant.
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