Edmonton police's HELP unit moves into Katz-donated building

An Edmonton Police Service program dedicated to helping the city’s most vulnerable has a new home.

The Human-Centered Engagement and Liaison Partnership – or HELP – is set to move into the Union Building in the central McDougall neighbourhood.

Katz Group Real Estate donated the use of the building for five years.

“HELP is a new approach to policing and enhancing community safety and wellbeing,” said Inspector Kellie Morgan. “The program seeks to understand the root cause of the issues and barriers that impact our vulnerable community.”

The program looks to divert people from the justice system and towards social, health and community supports.

HELP works with organizations like Boyle Street and provides everything from additions counselling, health care, financial support and basic life skill training.

“The value of the partnership is being able to have all of those pieces come together, shifting our practice collectively so that we learn from the police, the police learn from us and we can collectively be better at the work that we do,” said Jordan Reiniger from Boyle Street.

Since launching Jan. 4, HELP has diverted almost 300 people to different supports.