New East Village safety hub to address community concerns in Calgary

(L-R) Calgary Police Deputy Chief Chad Tawfik, CMLC’s president and CEO Kate Thompson and Ward 7 city councilor Terry Wong in front of the new East Village Safety Hub on July 28, 2022. Twitter: @CalgaryMLC

Calgary’s East Village unveiled a new safety hub Thursday, where community members can access various support services such as city police and members of the Alpha House Society’s Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership program (DOAP).

The hub — which will run as a three-year pilot project — was created in partnership with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), the city of Calgary, CPS and DOAP.

Though it’s not a place where people can report crimes, uniformed officers will be stationed there along with social supports, something CPS deputy chief, Chad Tawfik said has worked well for the Stephen Avenue safety hub which opened in 2021.

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“We’ve seen in the last year the opportunities that the Steven Avenue safety hub, or SASH, has brought to bringing the different agencies together to collaborate on safety issues. An example being transit safety, safety in the core, protests and demonstrations — all types of things — and then also working with other partners such as the ambassadors, to ensure that we’re visible and present in the area,” Tawfik said.

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“We’ve heard from our members that it’s a valuable location to leverage and we’re optimistic that this will be the same in East Village.”

The hub can be found in the lower level of the St. Louis Hotel on 8 Avenue S.E. Tawfik said its location in the East Village is key to allow citizens quick and easy access while also taking some of the workload from surrounding police stations.

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Downtown Calgary remains without a dedicated police station, so the one in Ramsay typically fields a lot of the calls.

“Working closely with CPS and other partners out of this central location in East Village will help our outreach programs deliver efficient and effective supports to individuals struggling with mental health and/or substance use in the area,” said Charlene Wilson, director of programs and services at Alpha House.

“Alpha House is proud to be a partner in this collaborative initiative that will help ensure all members of the community have access to the supports they need.”

Doors to the hub will open on Aug. 10.

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