Community Safety and Well-Being Plan
The Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for York Region is a long-term tool with the goal of enhancing safety and well-being through proactive, targeted, and community-driven actions. Its place-based approach puts communities that can benefit most at the heart of planning and builds their capacity to identify and respond locally to priority risks in their communities.
The Plan was developed in consultation with residents, community organizations, local municipalities, York Regional Police and other stakeholders. Six strategic objectives form the framework for the Plan, supporting key activities and local actions that steer the Plan towards achieving its goal of enhancing safety and well-being. Through Community Action Tables and other collaborative initiatives, the Plan brings partners together, strengthens community capacity to lead, leverages data and existing community strengths, prioritizes preventative initiatives, and bridges gaps where they exist.
York Region plays a key stewardship role to work with partners to implement the Plan, build on success, attract funding to resource actions, coordinate advice from the Human Services Planning Board of York Region (HSPB), monitor Plan progress and report to relevant stakeholders as required.
The current funding opportunities have now closed. Check in regularly for more opportunities, as they are released.
York Region is pleased to receive the Building Safer Communities Fund from Public Safety Canada to support community safety and well-being in our communities. Funding will be used to support the implementation of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for York Region. The time-limited funding targets prevention and intervention initiatives to tackle guns and gang violence.
All programs will be established in the four focus areas identified in the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for York Region:
- Northern Georgina
- Central Newmarket
- South-central Markham; and
- South-central Richmond Hill (also including the City of Vaughan geographic boundaries)
Community Action Tables
Community Action Tables (CATs) in each of the four focus areas were established to inform development of the Plan and provide the infrastructure to enhance community capacity to identify and respond locally to the kinds of challenges that impact safety and well-being. CATs are community-driven collaboration tables that meet regularly to develop targeted strategies that reflect community needs and address specific service gaps.
Each table is comprised of a broad range of stakeholders – residents, service providers, grassroots groups, York Regional Police representatives, school boards, municipal and regional government representatives and local funders.
Each CAT’s respective local action plan is included in the appendices of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for York Region.
Please see How to get involved to connect with a community action table.
Children Youth and Families Situation Tables
The York Region Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Situation Tables are co-led by The Regional Municipality of York and York Regional Police that aim to reduce crime, victimization, and the need for targeted enforcement to improve community safety and well-being.
CYF Situation Tables are multi-sector collaborative tables that consider cultural considerations to provide immediate, coordinated and integrated responses to address situations of acutely elevated risk facing individuals and/or families.
The York Region CYF Situation Tables launched on January 25th and 26th, 2023. There are four situation tables, as listed below:
- Richmond Hill Vaughan CYF Situation Table
- Newmarket CYF Situation Table
- Markham CYF Situation Table
- Georgina CYF Situation Table
How Does it Work?
Each Table consists of a multi-agency team who meets weekly to identify individuals, groups and places where the probability of experiencing harm is imminent. During a meeting, table members review situations to determine if they meet the criteria for acutely elevated risk. After their review, an intervention team of table members carry out the required interventions. By leveraging the skills and resources of diverse community partners, the Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Situation Tables mobilize existing resources to respond to situations of Acutely Elevated Risk (AER) using different approaches to address multiple risk factors — providing the community with the best possible interventions to respond to safety risks. The first element of response happens between 0 – 72 hours following a meeting.
- The goals of the CYF Situation Tables include:
- Reduce overall risk levels of harm and victimization
- Increase awareness and knowledge of risks, trends and systemic issues
- Improve collaboration and coordination among service providers
- Increase community safety and well-being
Acutely Elevated Risk (AER) Situations
Situations of acutely elevated risk (AER) are those where:
- There is an extremely high probability of imminent and significant harm to self or others
- The risk factors contributing to the elevated risk cannot be addressed by a single agency alone
- If left unattended, such situations will require targeted enforcement and/or other emergency responses
For additional information, please email @email
Community Violence Prevention Fund
Actions that are supported by the Community Violence Prevention Fund will be linked to the priority areas of mental well-being, housing stability and economic stability to reduce underlying risk factors that can lead to youth crime, harm and victimization (including involvement in gangs and gang violence).
Programming supported by the Community Violence Prevention Fund should be informed by consultations and/or needs assessments with youth, which can include:
- Trauma-informed programming
- Employment development and supports
- Community engagement activities
- Indigenous services and/or programming
- Supports focused on Black youth
- Gender-based programming
- Hate-motivated incident awareness/prevention
- Leadership development programming
- Mental health programming and supports
Mobile Youth Services Hub
The Mobile Youth Services Hub provides mobile services to vulnerable youth, including those who are at risk of homelessness and those who have had interactions with the criminal justice system. Services include but are not limited to food provision, nutrition education, pre-employment opportunities, mental health and addictions support, life skills workshops and recreation/drop-in programming. The program also provides crisis intervention and prevention supports to youth at risk of substance abuse, alcohol and gang-related activities.
A needs assessment is conducted to determine existing programming, identify gaps and barriers for vulnerable youth and areas where enhanced programming may be required.
The Mobile Youth Services Hub travels to highly frequented areas such as streets, parks, community centres and secondary schools. Real-time data from YRP is used to help identify locations, thereby providing in-the-moment services wherever they are needed.
The pilot program has three goals:
- Increased access to services by vulnerable youth
- Increased social inclusion and integration to the local community
- Increased community safety through the provision of crisis intervention and prevention supports
Service Navigator Pilot Program
The Service Navigator pilot program will establish new Service Navigator roles in consultation with local community partners and York Region Community Action Tables. The Service Navigator provides a single, trusted contact person for vulnerable youth and families to assist them in accessing whichever support they need without judgement or criticism.
The role of the Service Navigator includes helping clients navigate individual barriers to accessing services, providing emotional support to clients and families, explaining terminology, referring patients to additional services, coordinating with providers, and responding to unique client needs.
Traumatic Incident Response Pilot Program
The Traumatic Incident Response Pilot Program (TIRP) initiative will facilitate increased community mobilization to help residents feel safe following a traumatic event in the local community, and to improve community resiliency and wellbeing.
The Protocol will:
- Support traumatic incident intervention in the short term by identifying and mobilizing local municipalities and community partners to carry out actions such as coordinated community information-sharing debriefs following a traumatic incident; and
- Prevent traumatic incidents from re-occurring in the long term by establishing safety audits and community safety monitoring programs, and surfacing systemic policy issues to address
Traumatic incident response teams consisting of various community partners (ie. York Region, YRP, school boards, faith-based organizations and mental health service agencies) will be established to carry out the response and mobilize supports where necessary.
The TIRP is activated within 12-72 hours of a traumatic incident occurring.
What is traumatic incident?
A traumatic incident is defined as any event which has community-level impacts. A community is a group of people that share a bond, such as residing within the same geographical area and having a shared culture or identity. A traumatic incident may include, but is not limited to, a shooting, stabbing, gun/gang related activity, hate motivated incident, etc.
Youth Supporting Youth Pilot Program
The Youth Supporting Youth pilot is a peer support program that will support marginalized and vulnerable youth, including those at risk of or involved with gang violence.
The pilot should provide peer support certification and workshops at local schools and in the community on violence prevention, life skills training, building healthy relationships, employment skills, trauma, stress, and self-care strategies. The program should equip youth with systems and coping mechanisms to increase protective factors and prevent/reduce underlying risk factors that lead to crime, harm, and victimization.
Peer support training and certification assist mentors with healing from past traumas just as much as the program intended to support the mentees.
The plan focuses on communities that can benefit the most, leverages and enhances community assets, and strengthens local capacity to drive change. It will target top opportunities for action, including improving mental well-being, and housing and economic stability.
Over 700 York Region residents and stakeholders were consulted through community consultations and surveys to inform development of the Plan. Their input helped clarify the top-two risk factors facing four focus areas:
- Northern Georgina – Mental well-being and economic stability
- South-central Markham – Mental well-being and housing stability
- Central Newmarket – Mental well-being and housing stability
- South-central Richmond Hill – Mental well-being and housing stability
We will use evidence from data and community surveys, supported by consultations with community partners, to inform consideration of new focus areas in future iterations of the Plan.
Alignment with existing Regional Initiatives
The Plan will directly support the Region’s efforts in achieving its vision of strong, caring and safe communities. It supports the Vision 2051 goal that "York Region’s diverse population can thrive in an environment that fosters healthy living; is safe, accessible, inclusive and supportive," and York Region’s 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan priority to “support community health, safety and well-being."
This work provides an opportunity to build on Regional initiatives through the development of targeted actions – including York Region’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan, Housing Solutions: A Place for Everyone, York Region Economic Development Action Plan: 2020 to 2023, The Inclusion Charter for York Region and York Regional Police Business Plan 2020-2022 – that reflect local context and address community-level gaps.
How to get involved
If you live or work in one of the four focus areas and would like to share your ideas with your local Community Action Table to help set priorities, plan activities and take action to improve your community, connect with the representative in your area:
South-Central Richmond Hill
For other questions about the Community Safety and Well-being Plan for York Region, please email [email protected]