The City of Prince George has created two new outreach coordinator positions and the new employees are set to begin their roles on Sunday (Oct. 24).
The city says the outreach coordinators will be responsible for connecting unsheltered persons with health and social services, including safe and supported housing.
The staff will work closely with bylaw services officers and representatives from other service providers associated with the Community Safety Hub, which opened in April.
“The City of Prince George continues to demonstrate leadership and responsiveness as one of the only BC communities outside of Vancouver to have its own staff dedicated to connecting the homeless population with health and social services,” said Chris Bone, senior manager of strategic initiatives and partnerships, in a news release.
“The goal is to build positive relationships with unsheltered homeless people and to complement and provide balance to the work of bylaw and protective services.”
The positions are part of a one-year pilot project funded by a federal and provincial government grant from the Union of BC Municipalities’ Strengthening Communities Services Program.
The city received $1,907,593 in grant funding from the program, part of which was used to establish the Community Safety Hub.
Since Oct. 12, the outreach staff has been completing orientation for their new roles.
This includes meeting with agency staff as well as job shadowing with community-based outreach staff and bylaw services. The outreach coordinators will also meet with downtown businesses and agencies to introduce themselves.
The orientation and training program is complete and the staff began their regular shift rotations on Sunday, October 24.
Working out of the City of Prince George’s Community Safety Hub in downtown Prince George, the two staff members will work shifts that ensure both early morning and late evening coverage, seven days per week, while having overlapping schedules to allow time to work collaboratively.
“The positions won’t just be regularly connecting with vulnerable people, they will be working with them and advocating for them,” said Bone.
“The city is working to supplement the outstanding work of existing agencies and to contribute to an integrated and coordinated service delivery system.”