REACH Edmonton

Members of the 24/7 Crisis Diversion teams had an opportunity to gather at a staff retreat Sept. 19, which highlighted feelings of shared ownerships of the initiative and the positive aspects of bringing multiple agencies together to serve vulnerable Edmontonians more effectively.

“There’s a common misconception that when you partner with other organizations you have to give something up in terms of values or priorities,” said Lindsay Daniller, director of community initiatives and strategic planning for REACH Edmonton. “In reality, you gain so much. Most importantly, you see the bigger picture.”

By bringing multiple partners together to help people in non-emergency crisis, agencies build relationships, learn from one another, and support each other in addressing gaps in services for Edmonton’s most vulnerable citizens.

For example, when Boyle Street Community Services lost a few casual staff and had trouble filling some shifts, constant communication with the partnership ensured that Hope Mission was able to pick up more calls and cover their staff shortages until new staff were hired.

Because of this partnership between agencies, police and 211, when members of the public see someone in non-emergency distress, they can help by calling 211 and pressing 3 to dispatch the 24/7 Crisis Diversion team.

“When we partner together, agencies don’t have to become like one another, they learn from one another and support one another in providing the services that individual clients need,” said Daniller.

“We know that vulnerable Edmontonians are individuals with different needs and a diversity of services is essential.”

24/7 Crisis Diversion is a collaborative partnership of six Edmonton organizations including Boyle Street Community Services, Hope Mission, Canadian Mental Health Association (211), Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services and REACH Edmonton.