New Initiative Aims To Eliminate Silos To Help High-Risk People

More than two dozen agencies in Windsor-Essex have been working more closely together to identify root problems for people at risk.

The initiative called the "Situation Table", started in Saskatchewan in 2011 but only came to this area five months ago.

Every week, representatives from more than 27 agencies meet to discuss some high risk people they've come across including people with mental health issues, physical violence, crime, poor housing or drug use.

What they've realized is that some of the different agencies deal with the same individual.

The Situation Table then comes up with a co-ordinated plan to help.


AM800 file photo

Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick says policing and enforcement aren't always the answers. "This is trying to solve problems from the root cause and going forward as a better plan for that person to succeed."

"Working together results in better outcomes for the person at risk," says Windsor Police Inspector Tammy Fryer. "It was very challenging to bring everybody to the table to get used to the idea that we had eliminate the silos and start having the open conversations to some respect of course adhering to guidelines and policies."

Situation Table Advisor Brent Kalinowski says co-ordination is key. "The big picture is changing the system," he says. "What we found our systems really serve the systems themselves and not often the individuals that require the systems so changing how we work, identifying risk before police have to intervene before someone has to show up in an emergency room."

In the past five months, 27 people have been referred with 72% of them lowering their risk status.