Salmon Arm  

City of Salmon Arm seeking funding to set up multi-agency situation table

City eyes situation table

The City of Salmon Arm will apply for a provincial grant that would provide funds for the establishment of a situation table — an inter-agency forum to help connect vulnerable people to necessary social services on an individual level.

At the Feb. 26 Salmon Arm council meeting, city staff received a report from Gary Buxton, director of planning and public services, which said staff from the provincial Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General had approached the city to see if there was interest in establishing a local situation table.

Buxton explained the purpose of a situation table.

“A very multi-agency forum that allows for active case management of vulnerable individuals to connect them in sort of a wraparound way to the services that they need,” he said.

He explained that there are a few groups in the city doing similar work however, none of them can get into active case management due to confidentiality issues. A situation table would use confidentiality agreements to be able to actively help individual people.

While the city needs to apply for the grant to fund the situation table, the city itself would not run it, Buxton explained.

“So we would submit the application but it's not likely that we would be chairing or running the situation table,” Buxton said.

“There are others in the community that are far more capable of doing that, but we would sort of shepherd the application through the process and then the funds would flow through to that agency that would chair and run the situation table.”

A motion was made to have staff apply for the grant.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond is the council's social issues chair and she spoke in favour of the motion.

“I like to think that this is a signal from the province that there's recognition that Salmon Arm is willing to take on tough collaborative work, and we want to do it properly,” Wallace Richmond said.

“We want to get to a point where different agencies can talk frankly to each other about specific cases. And that's not something you can do informally, on a Zoom call. ... So this would take it to the next level where your team members from interior health, RCMP, outreach workers, and housing providers could have those very critical conversations in an urgent manner to get people the help they need much faster than they could if we do it off the side of our desk.”

Council passed the motion unanimously.

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