New Mobile Outreach Team Hits Windsor Streets

A new partnership in Windsor is reaching out to help the most vulnerable.

The 'Mobile Outreach and Support Team' or MOST is a partnership between Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Family Services Windsor-Essex, the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario.

A clearly marked van will be making regular stops Monday to Friday in the downtown and west Windsor to help those who need it.

The team will consist of a driver trained to support people with physical disabilities, an outreach worker and social worker.

The staff will provide some basic care needs and support to help the homeless.

Speaking on AM800's 'The Lynn Martin Show,' Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare CEO Janice Kaffer says the idea is to bridge the gap.

"They will have some basic supplies available, the intent is to connect with people, have conversation with people, make sure they are ok, and in this extreme cold for instance tonight, if they find folks who are unaware that the shelters are not turning anyone away, they will encourage them to seek warmth," she says.

The team will consist of a driver trained to support people with physical disabilities, an outreach worker and social worker.

Kaffer says the intent is to connect with people.

"The van is not going to be a place where we will actually provide care, it is not a treatment and that's a really important thing," she says. "But we will have the opportunity to, we will have a needle exchange, our staff will be carrying naloxone."

Speaking on AM800's 'The Afternoon News,' CEO of Family Services Windsor-Essex, Joyce Zuk says the focus on cold nights will be making sure the homeless are safe.

"With the intention of giving them some critical things at this time of the year, like hats, mitts, hand-warmers and give them information and advice and facilitation to help them get into permanent and temporary housing," says Zuk.

The six-month pilot project will operate until June on weeknights from 5pm to 9pm.