Eighteen B.C. communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis are the first to get the support of on-the-ground community action teams (CAT) and dedicated funding as part of government’s escalated response to the overdose crisis
“This bold, new approach is vital as families in every corner of the province continue to lose their loved ones to overdoses. Each community action team will play a crucial role in targeting resources where they are needed most on the ground in their communities. This is critical to saving lives and connecting people to treatment and recovery.”
~ Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy.
Community Crisis Fund
Total Crisis Funding
In 2017-18, a total of $3 million in dedicated funding is available through the Community Crisis Innovation Fund; $1.5 million from the OERC Community Action Team Grants. Another $1.5 million will be available to all B.C. communities, through a Community Crisis Response Grants application process.
The Community Crisis Innovation Fund will also be available in 2018-19 and 2019-20, with an investment of $6 million each year. This funding is part of the government’s three-year, $322-million investment to address the overdose crisis.
The CAT will focus on four areas of action to save lives and support people with addictions on a pathway to treatment and recovery:
- Expanding community-based harm-reduction services.
- Increasing the availability of naloxone.
- Addressing the unsafe drug supply through expanded drug-checking services and increasing connections to addiction-treatment medications.
- Proactively supporting people at risk of overdose by intervening early to provide services like treatment and housing.
“This escalated emergency response is about using the latest overdose data, which will be updated on a regular basis, to tell us who is at risk and where to deliver life-saving supports on the ground before it’s too late. This comprehensive community-level response will also allow us to learn more quickly about what’s working and share best practices throughout the province to save more lives.”
~ Dr. Patricia Daly, Overdose Emergency Response Centre lead