UNLOC is a community-driven crime prevention initiative that uses a community development approach to increase safety and decrease crime in the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC) catchment area. The project brings together community partners and residents in 7 social housing neighbourhoods within the PQCHC area. These neighbourhoods face a number of barriers that make them especially vulnerable to street level drug trafficking, home-takeovers and the related violence that accompanies it. UNLOC assists in creating compassionate, caring, connected neighbourhoods; where people know their neighbours, look out for each other and work proactively and collaboratively to create positive change. Residents and partners work in a focused way to collectively develop strategies to reduce mental health and addictions, street-level drug dealing, home takeovers and related violence to increase community safety and cohesion. We do this in numerous ways including:
- Conducting resident training (for adults and youth) to promote better understanding of issues such as vulnerability to home takeovers and predatory drug dealers, mental health and addictions, building positive relationships and facilitating neighbourhood safety initiatives.
- Organizing monthly Coffee Houses on topics of safety, addictions and mental health.
- Coordinating regular Neighbourhood Walkabouts, mapping use of public space and promoting the positive use of public space by planning events, activities, beautification initiatives and addressing problem areas within the neighbourhood and conducting safety audits.
- Providing service referrals.
- Building on neighbourhood strengths by linking with local initiatives such as the Safe People project which mobilizes and supports residents to become community leaders.
- Reviewing agency protocols and practices for increased understanding and to identify areas we may be able to shift to better meet community needs.
- Linking to City-wide initiatives such as the Ottawa Gang Strategy and best practices such as the “Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Problem Addresses Agreement” and the Post Incident Protocol and MERIT (Multiagency Early Risk Intervention Tables).
- Implementing Results Based Accountability (RBA) evaluation tools to monitor project outcomes ensuring we are on track and moving towards our goal of reducing mental health and addictions, street-level drug dealing, home takeovers and related violence.
- Engaging partners and resident leaders through Service Provider and Community Engagement Committees to provide direction and oversight to the project.