Help for vulnerable Edmontonians creates a safer community
*An initiative better and more efficiently connects vulnerable people with community supports and helps free up police resources.
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) will use proceeds of crime funding from the province to work with community partners to help vulnerable people be more independent, less likely to be victimized, and require fewer police, medical, and social interventions.
By identifying gaps and duplications in services, the EPS-led project also targets the causes of repeat minor crimes that result from substance and alcohol abuse. Benefits of using community supports more efficiently include freeing up agencies like the EPS for other calls for assistance.
The Heavy Users of Services (HUoS) project is a partnership with more than 16 groups, including health and social service providers, first responders, justice services, Aboriginal-focused organizations, and government representatives. So far, nine individuals have agreed to participate in the initiative. The goal is to work with up to 50 individuals identified as the city’s most frequent users of social, medical, criminal and justice services.
“The grant is turning bad money into good, by using the proceeds of crime to prevent crime by protecting vulnerable Edmontonians and other residents by freeing up EPS officers to address more serious police issues.”
Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
The EPS will work with community organizations to use the $1.45 million grant from the Alberta government over three years.
“We must continue to break down silos and work collaboratively with all agencies and communities to employ innovative solutions that get the mentally ill, homeless and addicted to a better place, while focusing scarce policing resources on those that prey on our most vulnerable populations.”
Rod Knecht, Chief, Edmonton Police Service
“The causes of homelessness are complex and the goal of the HUoS project is to improve the quality of life of our most vulnerable citizens through communication, coordination, collaboration and compassion.”
Jay Freeman, Executive Director, Edmonton Homeless Commission
Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.