THUNDER BAY – The concept of intox shelters is straightforward. Divert intoxicated people from the Shelter House – where they would be turned away, from the hospital – where they consume valuable front-line health care personnel, and from the police – who have other jobs to do.
The Thunder Bay Drug Strategy Report lists public intoxication as an area of concern. The Police Services have released a statement saying that the arrest rate here for intoxicated individual is the highest in all of Ontario. The direct cost of this is over two million dollars per year. There are also concerns for public safety, and the safety of the individuals involved (especially during the winter).
An intox shelter would offer a safe, controlled environment for people, with staff trained in first aid. These would be professionals who are dedicated to this job. Police and EMS could drop people off, and they would be cared for – allowing our emergency providers to return to their jobs.
This requires research, but I think it is time for some bold new ideas in managing our city’s resources. Having more police doing police work seems like a great way to help our crime problem.
What do you think?
Candidate – Red River Ward