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Welcoming Streets is Coming to Downtown Oshawa

Downtown Oshawa, Carea Community Health Centre, and the City of Oshawa have partnered together to address the issues of homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse in the downtown. Starting in November, a social worker and a health promoter from Carea will be working out of the Downtown Oshawa BIA to address concerns of downtown businesses and to connect vulnerable individuals in the downtown to the appropriate services. This initiative, known as Welcoming Streets, will be a 6-month pilot project in Downtown Oshawa.

"We are very pleased to partner with the City and the BIA in their efforts to assist the unsheltered individuals in the downtown core and to support the many businesses and residents that are being impacted. Carea's experienced team of professionals understands the complex issues being faced. Welcoming Streets aligns with our mission and mandate to provide holistic care, support, and wraparound services to those in need." said Francis Garwe, CEO Carea Community Health Centre.

The Welcoming Streets Initiative originated in Guelph, Ontario which was designed to ensure that downtown Guelph is safe, inclusive, and welcoming for all community members. The goal of the project was for the downtown streets to be experienced as more welcoming to all of the community members. The WSI provides outreach support via a Peer Outreach Worker, which worked to engage and build positive, trusting relationships with vulnerable individuals, to connect them to services they need.

The Welcoming Streets initiative will strengthen our sense of community by enhancing the safety and inclusivity of everyone in the downtown core. This project will also help to improve the image of Downtown Oshawa and will be an integral part of our successful growth and development. - Cindy Malachowski, Chair of Welcoming Streets Committee

This initiative will also provide the necessary training for downtown businesses and employees. These workshops will assist the business owners and their employees in handling complex situations when the social worker is not available or is off duty. The first workshops will be held on November 22nd and 29th from 8:00 am until 11:00 am and focusing on Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. Registration is required for these workshops. Other workshop dates and times will be posted online for registration.

Registration for workshops can be found at:
November 22nd: tickets-79607099979
November 29th: tickets-79604855265

"We are facing complex socio-economic challenges in our city right now - particularly in our downtown. The Welcoming Streets initiative is a partnership that will help us approach some of these challenges in a human, caring, and effective way by placing social work professionals in our downtown and providing relevant training to our downtown business community." - Derek Giberson, President of BackDoor Mission

"We've received many calls of concern from businesses that want to learn how to address these complex issues that Downtown Oshawa is facing. The Welcoming Streets Initiative is a great start on bridging the gap between businesses and vulnerable individuals to help provide better support for the community. Downtown Oshawa is excited and honoured to be a part of this initiative." - Amanda MacDonald, Executive Director, Downtown Oshawa BIA