VICTORIA, B.C. – Fort St. John is among twenty communities in B.C. that will be getting funding from the provincial government’s new Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Fund.
On Wednesday, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy announced the funding, which will support regions where local Community Action Teams have been established.
In February, the Province announced that the Overdose Emergency Response Centre was launching Community Action Teams in 20 B.C. communities that were identified through data as being high priority for the overdose response.
In partnership with the Community Action Initiative, each CAT – including Fort St. John’s – had the opportunity to apply for one-time grants of $100,000 through the first stream of the Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Fund.
“Local communities play a vital role in saving lives, preventing overdoses and connecting people to treatment and recovery,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Some of the most innovative solutions have come from local community action. Today’s announcement supports partnerships, launches local actions, and builds knowledge to ensure community teams can continue to effectively respond to the overdose crisis.”
The teams will include representation from municipal government; Indigenous partners; regional health authorities; first responders, including police, fire and ambulance; front-line community agencies; divisions of family practice; people and families with personal experience; and local provincial ministry offices, including housing, children and family development, and poverty reduction services.
This first stream of funding will be followed by a second stream that will be awarded in fall 2018 – up to a maximum of $75,000 per community – available for all B.C. communities affected by the overdose response.
The second stream of funding will address local needs, with an emphasis on actions to reach people using substances alone.