||To address the large number of service calls involving homeless individuals, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) implemented the Mobile Reference and Intervention Team for Homeless Individuals in 2009. The team is composed of police officers in uniform and community workers from the Jeanne-Mance Health and Social Services Centre. The team targets individuals who are homeless and living on the street, particularly those who are often the subject of police interventions. Team members refer these individuals to the appropriate community services.
||This initiative has several objectives:
- improve the accessibility and continuity of services through better coordination among police, health, justice, community and municipal services;
- reduce information-sharing barriers;
- reduce tensions and improve quality of life in neighbourhoods that include homeless and street-involved individuals; and
- develop police service expertise regarding homeless and street-involved populations, their needs and the services available.
||Preliminary results from an external evaluation show that, since 2009, the mobile reference and intervention team had closed 31% of the cases assigned to it, involving individuals who had generated multiple police interventions. These individuals were referred to health and community services, and in some cases to the court system. They are no longer generating frequent calls for intervention by police.
||The annual costs for this initiative are: $464,000, including salaries for four police officers (approximately $412,000); $36,000 in material resources (e.g., car maintenance, training, office equipment and cellular phone billing); and $19,000 in implementation costs. Community workers are funded through the Jeanne-Mance Health and Social Services Centre.
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