Provincial Government Working with Community Partners to Support Vulnerable Populations and Public Safety

Press Release

November 2, 2022

The Provincial Government is working with community partners, stakeholders and Indigenous Governments and Organizations to address the needs of vulnerable populations and to ensure public safety in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

In June, the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Acute Response Team was established, which brings together senior leaders and decision-makers from the Provincial Government, Indigenous Governments and Organizations, the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Labrador-Grenfell Health. The team meets regularly, and is striving to ensure the safety and well-being of transiently homeless and homeless individuals who present with multiple and complex service needs.

Homelessness is a complex issue and is not unique to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Throughout Canada, there has been an increase in homelessness since the pandemic, which can be attributed to various underlying issues, including mental health and addictions, loss of employment and housing supply challenges. The issues identified and experienced in this region are also often deeply rooted in intergenerational trauma and mental health and addictions.

Some of the short-term actions already under way to address these issues include:

  • The Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs provided funding to the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay to enhance security services in the community.
  • RCMP B-Division recently provided additional resources to the town. Regular patrols are being carried out in the interest of public safety.
  • Through the provision of housing units and an annual investment of approximately $3.6 million, the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation partners with the Nunatsiavut Government for the provision of wrap around supports to individuals with complex needs.
  • More than $542,000 is also provided annually to operate the Housing Hub overnight shelter and additional shelter overflow at the Labrador Inn.
  • A team of outreach workers, comprised of representation from Indigenous Governments and Organizations, community groups and organizations and various government agencies provide direct outreach support to vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness throughout Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
  • A Case Management Team works with individuals experiencing or at risk of being homeless and those who are transiently homeless. The team, comprised of Action Team members, collaborates and prioritizes supports and housing for vulnerable individuals in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

A full list of short-term and long-term actions under way through the Acute Response Team, Action Team and Labrador-Grenfell Health can be found in the Backgrounder below.

The Provincial Government is working in collaboration with Indigenous and community partners in this effort and acknowledges and appreciates the community leaders and individuals who are making valuable contributions to address the challenges and present solutions.

Quotes
“The Provincial Government acknowledges concerns that have been raised by community leaders and residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. While the situation is complex, the Provincial Government, Indigenous Governments and Organizations and its community partners are working collaboratively through the Acute Response Team and the Action Team to address the needs of vulnerable populations and concerns associated with public safety. Collectively, we are determined to meet these challenges and continue working on these matters.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs
Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation

“Homelessness is a complex issue, and meaningful solutions require strong partnerships. As a member of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Action Team, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is committed to continuing to work in partnership with Indigenous Governments and Organizations, the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and all community partners to build up and further develop meaningful investments and responses to help address the needs of vulnerable populations in this region.”
Honourable John G. Abbott
Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation

“The Department of Justice and Public Safety remains committed to working with communities and our police agencies to ensure all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel safe and secure. Recognizing that the presenting issues are complex and serious, we continue to work with the RCMP in an effort to address public safety concerns while respecting the needs of vulnerable populations.”
Honourable John Hogan, KC
Minister of Justice and Public Safety

“Access to the appropriate health-related services at the appropriate time is a priority for our government. We understand the complexity of some of the challenges facing our vulnerable populations, and we are working together at both the community and government levels to help ensure the proper supports and services are in place.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services

“As the MHA for Lake Melville and a resident of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the political and personal challenges of keeping everyone safe is my priority. The ultimate solution will take time, however, it will lead to success. In the meantime, I thank all leaders and citizens for their assistance.”
Perry Trimper
MHA for Lake Melville

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Learn more
Action Team Updates

Provincial Government Establishes Acute Response Team

Provincial Government Supports Emergency Response in Labrador

Community Partners Continuing Supports for Homelessness in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Federal and Provincial Governments Help Address Housing and Homelessness Needs in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

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Media contacts
Allan Bock
Labrador Affairs Secretariat
709-899-6446
AllanBock@gov.nl.ca

Jenny Bowring
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

Melony O’Neill
Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 689-0928
melonyoneill@gov.nl.ca

Emily-Jane Gillingham
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-2634, 730-4607
emilygillingham@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Short-term and long-term actions through the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Acute Response Team and Action Team and Labrador-Grenfell Health

Short-term

  • The Provincial Government contributed $85,000 to assist The Salvation Army, Newfoundland and Labrador Division, in the purchase of an Emergency Disaster Relief Vehicle in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the construction of a garage to house the vehicle. The funding supplemented an investment for the emergency response project from the Federal Government.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, in collaboration with the Federal Government, is providing $300,000 over three years to partner with the Nunatsiavut Government for a housing supports services manager position at the Housing Hub to support individuals experiencing homelessness to move out of shelter into more permanent housing.
  • Federal and provincial funding was provided to the Labrador Friendship Centre for the development of a community-led needs assessment to help identify gaps in infrastructure or services required to support the current and longer-term housing needs in the area.
  • An Outreach Team meets with people where they are. Through outreach, workers are building trust with individuals and connecting with available supports and services to assist with their path to wellness.
  • Under the National Housing Strategy, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation has awarded a $787,000 tender to construct four new social housing units in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Long-term

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation is developing an integrated health, housing and supportive services facility that incorporates accommodations and services currently in place at the Housing Hub and the Labrador Inn, along with supportive living units, health services and other supportive services. This facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will be low barrier, will meet people where they are, will offer services through a harm reduction and trauma-informed approach, will be culturally appropriate and inclusive, and will continue to build on existing partnerships.
  • The Action Team, established in 2021, is working through a coordinated approach and developing a longer term response to provide housing, health and supportive services for vulnerable populations. The Team identifies gaps in support and arranges appropriate services.
  • This Action Team has representation from Indigenous Governments and Organizations, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the RCMP, Labrador-Grenfell Health, the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and other community stakeholders.
  • Labrador-Grenfell Health provides supports and resources to increase access to health services for vulnerable populations. The Regional Health Authority participated in a needs analysis to identify opportunities to improve and increase nursing, mental health and addictions, and community supports to vulnerable populations. Other supports include:
  • Weekly nurse practitioner and licensed practical nurse visits to the Housing Hub to meet immediate needs and support chronic disease management.
  • Weekly mental health and addictions vounsellor visits to the Housing Hub (group sessions/grief counselling available).
  • The Mobile Crisis Response team works in partnership with the RCMP to meet with clients in the community who may be experiencing a crisis.
  • Public Health offers flu and COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Housing Hub, Labrador Inn, and the correctional facility.
  • Home supports are provided where there are unmet client needs related to personal care, medication management, behavioural support, household management, and respite.

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