Safe & Engaging Streets

WHAT IS THE WELCOMING STREET INITIATIVE (WSI)?

The WSI was designed to ensure that downtown Guelph is safe, inclusive, and welcoming for all community members.

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM PURPOSE AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES?

Purpose: A Peer Outreach Worker works to support business owners by responding to situations that do not require the help of police. In addition, the Worker engages with vulnerable individuals to ensure they are connected with the services they need.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES:

  • Business owners feel supported and have access to the information/training they need
  • Equity deserving individuals feel supported, and are linked with the services they need
  • The downtown core is safe and inclusive for all community members

WHO DOES THE PROGRAM SERVE?

This program supports downtown business owners and also equity deserving individuals in the area. These individuals are often struggling with complex issues, such as poverty, mental health and addiction, homelessness, and who are disengaged from the health and social service system.

This initiative is the result of an innovative partnership between the Guelph Police, the Guelph Business Association, and the Guelph Community Health Centre.

 PROGRAM FUNDING PARTNERS:

2020/2021: Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health Centre &  Guelph Police Service

2018/2019: Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph Police Service, United Way & County of Wellington

2018:  Downtown Guelph Business Association, City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph Police Service

RESOURCES:

For information about emergency shelters, call:

If you see someone on the street in need of assistance (not an emergency response), call:

WSI PROGRAM RESOURCES/EVALUATIONS (click on links below):

Guelph Welcoming Streets Initiative-Evaluation 2020

Community Cold Weather Response 2021/2022

Supportive Community Connections in Downtown Guelph (2021/2022)

Digital Booklet

Supportive Community Connections – Pamphlet 2021-2022-compressed

Business Tips for De-Escalation       PDF PRINT

WSI MEDIA:

Welcoming Street Mini Documentary Filmed by Jack Bailey

Welcoming Streets: A day in the life of – by Julie Porter, WSI Outreach Worker

No One Left Behind – United Way Guelph Wellington Documentary

    WORKING TOGETHER:

If you would like to partner, volunteer or donate to welcoming streets contact info@downtownguelph.com

GUELPH POLICE SERVICES IN THE CORE

‘The unit consists of four officers and one downtown liaison officer assigned to patrol the area inside of Woolwich, Wellington, Norfolk and Gordon streets.

It was formed in response to growing safety issues downtown, but also to help address drug use and homelessness that has been seen in the area.

While making arrests and enforcing the law is part of the role, the focus is more about building relationships with businesses, organizations, residents and visitors downtown.’

Read more

StopGap Ramps

Getting around in Downtown Guelph is getting easier. Our community has been working hard towards a barrier-free downtown.  In 2016 StopGap ramps were built and customized for 40+ downtown businesses.

The DGBA, with input from the provincial government and accessibility action groups, produced a business tool kit.  The tool kit aims to educate businesses and offer advice on how best to accommodate those with additional needs, whether they be physical or intellectual.  It also includes a list of resources for both businesses and customers.

Links:

All Access Business Tool Kit 2019 Final

The Business of Accessibility HandbooK: How to Make Your Main Street Business Accessibility Smart

Downtown Guelph Accessibility Map
This map, accurate as of June 2016, indicates the locations of accessible parking spots, benches, curb ramps, stores that have StopGap ramps, and accessible public washrooms.

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