July 10, 2023
We are horrified and saddened by the violence and loss of life that took place at Queen St. East and Carlaw Ave. on Friday, July 7. We grieve alongside the community, as Board members of the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, as community members, and as Torontonians. Our hearts go out to the family of the victim, as we mourn with our neighbours for our shared loss.
Our Community Health Centre has been part of the South Riverdale community for more than 45 years and serving people at this location for more than 25. We join others in being deeply troubled by this level of violence in our community. This terrible incident took place near our facility and has affected the whole community. To address those impacts and emerging needs, our team is committed to accelerating community safety activities, many of which were underway before this tragic event occurred.
We believe that a whole community response is necessary to improve safety, including neighbours, police, SafeTO, all levels of government, and local organizations. We recognize serious, violent crimes are issues that require action from all community partners.
As always, the health and wellbeing of the community is what matters to us the most.
• Continue our commitment to multi-service health delivery – Many people in Toronto rely on our team and its services. We hold responsibility to deliver these services as a beacon in a healthy and safe community. From essential health care and diabetes education to pregnancy and mental health programs to harm reduction services, we will continue to work with residents and partner organizations to deliver services in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of clients, staff and community.
• Engage a community safety team – In the immediate term, we are engaging a community safety team. This team will be positioned outside our facility at 955 Queen Street East from 6:00 am to midnight for the coming week. We have begun discussions with community members about the effectiveness of this approach and will continue to monitor and adapt this initiative.
• Establish a new Safe Community Committee – This committee’s purpose is to enhance and build on the work of Supervised Consumption Services Community Liaison Committee, which meets quarterly and includes community members, the BIA and other stakeholders. We are immediately striking a Board-led committee to work with the local police service, SafeTO representatives and other stakeholders – including local school leaders and residents. The committee will re-examine how our Consumption and Treatment Services intersect with police and other city divisions. The stakeholders on this committee will pursue all opportunities to strengthen coordination between these groups in the interest of public safety.
• Ensure meaningful community engagement – The Health Centre will continue to particpate in extensive and deep community discussions, town halls, and research over the summer to inform recommendations to the Safe Community Committee, management, and our community partners.
• Provide frequent news and updates – Our community-led Board will share regular updates about our progress with stakeholders and community members. We have a dedicated page on our website to share news and information www.srchc.ca/community-engagement.
If you would like to contact the Board, please email us at [email protected].
As members of the South Riverdale community for more than 45 years, SRCHC is committed to working with community members and stakeholders to improve the health, safety and well-being of our neighbourhood. To stay up-to-date with our safety strategies and statements from our Board, please visit our Community Engagement page.