Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton are among 35 BC communities that will receive up to $150,000 from the province for on-the-ground community action teams (CATs) to fight the overdose crisis in the province.
The Sea to Sky communities are part of the hardest hit communities, where such CATs are being established based on overdose data. The aim, province says, is to find local solutions to the overdose crisis through projects aimed at saving lives and improving community wellness.
Nineteen CATs are in their second year of operation and 16 new CATs are being established throughout B.C. based on updated overdose data and community need.
“From day one, we recognized that it is people on the ground, on the front lines of the overdose crisis who know best what works in their communities, large and small,” said Darcy. “By investing in local solutions, we are coming together as a province to reduce harm, fight stigma and support people on their own pathway to healing and hope.”
Up to $50,000 in grant funding for community projects is also available through the Community Wellness and Harm Reduction Grant program administered by the Community Action Initiative. Examples of eligible projects include community dialogues, needle distribution and recovery programs, and projects that reduce stigma and help connect people to health-care services.
The government said escalating the response to the overdose crisis is a key pillar of government’s actions outlined in A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making the system of mental health and addictions care better for people in B.C. Implementing A Pathway to Hope is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Up to $3.5 million in funding was announced by Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, at the Union of BC Municipalities convention.