Manitoba is giving $3.6 million to Downtown Community Safety Partnership (DCSP) as part of the government’s efforts to help make communities safe, Premier Heather Stefanson, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen and Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard announced Tuesday.
“Improving the health and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens is critical to improving the safety of communities throughout the province,” said Stefanson.
The DCSP is a collaborative community initiative launched in 2020 to create a safer, more inviting downtown Winnipeg for businesses and residents.
It began as a partnership of the Manitoba government, City of Winnipeg, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, Winnipeg Police Service and True North Sports and Entertainment.
It is a non-profit organization and was given $5 million from the government initially.
“This funding will help promote a safer downtown Winnipeg by strengthening the efforts of the Downtown Community Safety Partnership in addressing issues of concern affecting community safety in the heart of our capital city,” said Goertzen.
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“The partnership is a proactive downtown presence, providing prevention and outreach focused on long-term solutions. The support will help to effect significant change for individuals and the entire downtown community.”
The partnership helps to address various priorities spanning multiple departments and programs across government including improved economic viability afforded by increased safety in downtown Winnipeg, the premier noted.
The DCSP also has other partnerships such as Manitoba 211, OPK Manitoba, Mama Bear Clan, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, and the Criti Care paramedic academy.
It is also connected to other initiatives such as shelters and mental health services.
“This funding will allow our DCSP teams to continue to enhance the health, safety and well-being for everyone living, working, learning or visiting downtown,” said Greg Burnett, executive director, DCSP.
“It will allow us to augment our three front-line patrol teams – so that we can continue to provide 24-7 visible, proactive, non-emergency response and specialized social needs support, navigation, outreach and followup intervention for our community members.”
The organization will also be receiving an additional $175,000 from the government to acquire a van capable of transporting people with disabilities and mobility needs.
The van will be used to take people to shelters, medical appointments, social services and probation appointments.