NELSON STREET OUTREACH PROGRAM
This program began in October 2016 as a way to provide a caring, comprehensive, and direct response to the immediate and longer-term needs of Nelson’s growing ‘street culture’ population. Services are offered throughout the year from Monday to Friday during daytime hours.
We believe that all individuals who rely on a community’s ‘street culture’ to live and/or survive are valued community members and have the right to receive support and access stabilization services in a manner that respects their dignity, their strengths, and their right to choose.
OUR TEAM & OUR TRAINING
Our team is made up of two street outreach workers, two peer support volunteers, and a program manager. Nursing students from Selkirk College accompany us on the streets.
Our training includes Mental Health First Aid, Basic First Aid/CPR, Assessment, Case Management, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, Privacy/Info sharing, Drug Information, Naloxone, Mental Health and Substance Use, Health Precautions & Personal Safety.
Our Mission is two-fold:
- To work in collaboration with relevant service providers to identify members of Nelson’s ‘street culture’ population, assess their immediate and long-term needs for health, safety, and basic needs, and offer a range of supports and services designed to meet these needs.
- To support downtown business owners and the general public in their increased understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of the challenges of the ‘street culture’ population and to foster a culture of mutual respect.
Through a trauma-informed, health promotion, harm reduction, social inclusion, and education lens, we offer:
- Assessment of needs
- Support & advocacy
- Information & referrals Crisis intervention
- Inclusion activities
- Public education
In our Pilot Year, we:
- Served 284 unique individuals (72% male; 27% female; 1% non-binary; 20% absolute homeless; 30% temporarily housed; 50% housed but at-risk)
- Made 284 referrals (including 86 to addictions treatment)
- 2,783 interventions (basic needs, referrals, emergencies, etc.)
- Made 7 presentations
- Started “Street Soccer” team