For nearly 10 years, REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities has been working diligently to find ways to address the root causes of crime and help build safer communities. What started as a City initiative under Mayor Steven Mandel with a small taskforce has grown into a vital organization that is successfully advocating for our city’s most vulnerable populations.
The taskforce created the REACH Report, which included nine recommendations that focused on investing in youth and children, driving change in the coordination and delivery of programs to reduce crime, and seeking out and developing community leaders who support and promote prevention.
Today REACH mobilizes and coordinates organizations, community groups and Edmontonians to find and implement innovative solutions for crime prevention and community safety. In addition to pursuing the nine recommendations, REACH works with its partners on a number of support initiatives and programs.
Wraparound Edmonton, or WrapED, is a partnership of six Edmonton organizations working to help young people (ages 12 to 17) affected by violent crime move away from the threat of gangs and learn to thrive in our community.
The REACH Immigrant and Refugee Initiative (RIRI) works to ensure cultural and ethnic groups are engaged in community safety issues and practices, and feel a stronger sense of community and individual voice and empowerment.
All In For Youth (AIFY) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that brings together programs and services to help every child achieve their best, by providing support to youth and their families.
REACH is also developing a comprehensive, coordinated response to at-risk populations who need 24 hour access to services. They are a key part of the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team and are partnering in a new pilot project, The Ambassador Program, that places teams in the city’s core to educate and connect individuals to services and resources.
REACH also provides a wide range of training for front-line workers, supervisors, law enforcement, social workers and others regarding best practices for working with vulnerable people and diverse populations. The training helps participants be culturally sensitive and understand how trauma can affect individuals.
REACH is an impressive and vitally important organization that works tirelessly to address the root causes of crime and dysfunction in our city. They rely heavily on community involvement and participation across all levels of government, public and private enterprise and communities. For more information about the remarkable contributions they are making to Edmonton, visit reachedmonton.ca.