Those were the words of Greater Sudbury Police Service board chair Gerry Lougheed Jr. on June 2 at an open house and barbecue at the community drop-in program on Shaughnessy Street.
“How do you make that quote real? You’ve got to have a place where the people get to know the police and the police get to know the people. A place that has accessibility, awareness, and an appreciation about what this place, the Community Drop-In Centre is all about.
“A place where everyone can sit together and understand what it means to, not police with force but police with service, and for that we say thank you for this Drop-In Centre.”
Chief of Police Paul Pedersen was also on hand for the event, held to increase awareness of the drop-in program.
“This is a place we want you to feel comfortable in,” said Pedersen. “This kind of place is a place that is going to build communities.”
The program combines a group comprised of the Aboriginal Peoples Alliance of Northern Ontario, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Sudbury and District Health Unit, Noah's Space and Project Peace. It offers resources, referrals, workshops and social inclusion to clients in the downtown core.
Clients attending the drop-in program can access:
-Weekly health clinics;
-Social service providers and volunteers;
-Topical educational workshops (employment, violence, self-esteem, advocacy);
-A worker trained in crisis prevention and intervention;
-Assistance with short-term immediately identified needs;
-Access to activities;
-Support for self-advocacy;
-Access to health related materials;
-Snacks, and activities;
-Clothing, and household items;
-Immediate support and facilitated access to emergency and crisis services.