The Community Action Team (CAT) was formed in July 2016 to provide a solution-oriented, community-driven response to social and safety issues throughout Kamloops, specifically temporary overnight shelters, panhandling, nuisance behaviour, and drugs.
While the City does not provide direct social services, it plays a critical role in linking services together, supporting community-based agencies as they serve the community, and advocating to other funders and levels of government for those resources in the community.
To provide a place where residents feel safe and secure, where community input is valued and encouraged, and where all citizens have abundant opportunities to live, learn, work, and play.
To identify and implement manageable solutions in our community by coordinating and mobilizing community-based actions focused on understanding the unique and diverse roles the community plays in responding and supporting how we address community challenges through community collaboration, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement.
- build awareness and understanding of social issues
- work collaboratively to problem-solve areas of concern
- develop resources/policies to address gaps
- monitor and evaluate the CAT model
- ensure sustainability of the CAT
Although the committee's membership has an ebb and flow, it will focus on being inclusive of all organizations that wish to respond to and act on the issues faced in the community. The facilitator (the City's Social and Community Development Supervisor) will look to draw culturally responsible support from organizations that represent the various approaches and roles.
- City of Kamloops Bylaw Services
- City of Kamloops Social and Community Development
- United Way
- Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association
- North Shore Business Improvement Association
- Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre
- ASK Wellness
- Canadian Mental Health Association - Kamloops Branch
- New Life Community
- Out of the Cold/Out of the Heat Shelter Program
- Interior Community Services
- Interior Health
- Tk'emlúps to Secwépemc
- Kamloops Fire Rescue
- BC Ambulance Service
- Lived Experience Committee
- and others
Since July 2016, the CAT has implemented and supported a number of activities, including the following:
- The CAT acted as a community informant group regarding the mobile supervised consumption services consultation led by Interior Health (IH).
- The CAT formed a subcommittee to support IH in semi-regular check-ins regarding the mobile supervised consumption services.
- The CAT established a bi-weekly meeting with the RCMP, Bylaw Services, and key community partners to further discuss a response to more challenging community issues that impact all of the community partners and the community.
- The RCMP and Bylaw Services piloted a partnership foot patrol in 2017 to better coordinate enforcement response, and the community noted it was a very successful project.
- The City and IH developed and implemented a sharps disposal strategy for the community, and 83 sharps bins were installed throughout the community in October 2017.
- The CAT provided guidance to City staff on provincial briefing notes and for a follow-up meeting with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
- A subset of the CAT briefed the Honourable Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in November 2017 on the CAT’s work as well as some of the gaps in service in the community.
- The City partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association and BC Housing to operate the winter shelter out of the former Stuart Wood School to provide the city’s homeless populations with relief through a safe, warm place to sleep at night.
- ASK Wellness Society, in partnership with Bylaw Services, provide outreach services and the cleanup of temporary camps throughout the city (this was in place prior to the CAT).
- The City piloted a program that provided ASK Wellness with 15 ProPASSes for residents of the Maverick Motor Inn to support them in successfully maintaining their housing and finding meaningful employment.
- The City partnered with Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society to develop the community mini-storage program, which opened in April 2018.
- In July 2018, the CAT team was awarded a one-time $100,000 grant from the provincial government's Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Fund to support local programs aimed to enhance or create wellness events with a culturally supportive harm reduction approach, provide social stabilization, support peer empowerment and employment, and address de-stigmatization and human rights.