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'A better, safer community': Regina launches revamped Street Team

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A new community outreach team, focused on helping those without a home in Regina, has officially launched.

“People who are on the street, a lot of people walk by them, pretend that they don’t see them, but this is going to be completely different. It’s gonna change that,” Comeback Society board member, Aly Bear said.

“People will actually be able to go up to them and meet them where they’re at, help them where they’re at, get them the help and support and healing and access [to] the resources. [They’ll] make sure that we’re taking care of one another and making this a better, safer community.”

The Regina Street Team was created with the intention of providing immediate service to the community members by addressing non-emergent situations stemming from a variety of issues such as mental health or homelessness.

The group also works to assist people in finding and accessing programs which best suit their needs.

“We’re trying to create opportunities for people to access services. There are lots of services that are available in Regina but if you don’t have a vehicle, if you don’t have a bus pass, if you don’t have a way to get there, they’re not accessible for you,” outreach program manager, Jason Knudsen explained.

“So we want to bridge that gap and deliver services to people so that they don’t have to come get them.”

It’s a mission made easier after a launch event on Tuesday, which included an announcement from Capital Automotive Group who donated a van to the team.

The program was formerly known as the Downtown Community Support Program, but has rebranded with the intention of being available across the city.

As for the team of support workers, many have experiences similar to those who they’ll be helping.

Something clinical program manager Robert Kraushaar says is an asset when it comes to assembling the force.

“We also believe in lived experience, being just as important, if not more to be honest than formal education,” Kraushaar said. “When we hire people, our goal is to keep hiring people [like] the ones that we work with and serve on the street.”

One of the many partners involved in the project is the Regina Police Service (RPS), which maintains that the program will assist in alleviating calls for service that don’t necessarily require police.

“Not every call, not every citizen needs a police intervention,” RPS Deputy Chief Lorilee Davis explained.

“We are so excited with this partnership and for this team to be able to assist people in a new and unique way.”

“It is something that certainly unique to Regina.”

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