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January 10, 2019, 10:50 am

Innovation in Social Service Delivery Recognized in the District of Mission

Union of British Columbia Municipalities

MISSION - The Mission Outreach Support Team (MOST), supported by the District of Mission, was recently awarded a Premier’s Award in the category of Leadership and Innovation.

The MOST team is an interdisciplinary action table consisting of staff from the RCMP, Ministry of Social Development of Poverty Reduction, Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions, Assertive Community Treatment Team, local nonprofit representatives and probation, together with Municipal Social Development and Bylaw staff. While the broader table meets monthly to dialogue and address street level issues as they arise, an additional smaller walkabout crew is deployed weekly to engage with people in homeless camps, under bridges, makeshift homes and other locations.

Current and best practice in social service delivery is very clear that the quickest, most effective and sustainable way to effect change with the street community is for helpers to get out of the office and go to those seeking the help. Mission has worked hard for this outreach approach to be acted upon at the leadership level and not simply the few select staff positions hired for homelessness outreach. This is a trauma informed approach in building both the individual and community resilience as a whole. This approach not only builds trust with those we are seeking to move forward in life but also between intersectoral partners (social services and bylaw officers).

The District of Mission has had one of the longest standing ongoing roles in Social Development in the Province.  Since 2006, the District of Mission has been visionary in their integration of a Manager of Social Development to liaison with all levels of Government, the local Health Authority, nonprofit groups, citizens and volunteers in areas such as homelessness, housing, poverty, child and family development, outreach and intersectoral partnerships. The Social Development Department has been instrumental in growing a collaborative leadership/practice approach in this work.
For further information, you may view a 3 minute YouTube video on the award winning work of MOST or contact Kirsten Hargreaves, Manager of Social Development in Mission, via email or at (604) 820-3752, for questions or to request a presentation.

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