Federal Government Funds the Brantford Downtown Outreach Team for 24 Months

The BDOT team - Photo by Vincent Ball / The ExpositorMore help is on the way. The federal government has introduced new funding today to provide support for people who use substances.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced nearly $7.5 million for 13 projects across Canada to increase the number of skilled health and social workers available to help people who use substances.

Close to home, St. Leonard's Community Services is receiving $790,995 of these funds over 24 months for the Brantford Downtown Outreach Team (BDOT). This initiative provides mobile on-the-spot peer support, harm reduction supplies, primary care services, and substance use and mental health counselling for vulnerable people downtown Brantford.

The outreach team will reach out to 200 to 300 people who may be experiencing addictions, mental health, or housing challenges, and will link those individuals with support services, including peer support, primary care, and addiction medicine.

This new funding allows the BDOT team to continue the activities initiated in a successful pilot project that was completed in 2019-2020. Over that time, the team engaged in over 5,000 interactions with more than 170 people. These resulted in more than 2,000 referrals to community agencies. The BDOT team members provided food, clean water, and harm-reduction supplies to people as well as connecting them with the services that they need but not otherwise have access to.

The support from the Federal Government announced today will allow this vital work to continue for the next two years.

"Community organizations across the country are doing important work to help people who use substances reduce the harm they face and get the services they need for better health," said Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Health. "These projects will give the right tools and training to the people and organizations that support people who use substances live healthier, safer lives." You can read more details about today's funding announcement in the full release, here

Photo by Vicent Ball / The Expositor (Source)