The Care Bus Set to Help for the Winter

Care Bus
Care Bus - Image NW Health

Thunder Bay – NEWS – The Care Bus, which provided care to over 3600 individuals over 44 days last winter, is returning to Thunder Bay. The program will again provide health and social support services, supplies for people in need, and transportation to the warming centre and local shelters.

“The Care Bus provides an innovative response to meet the concerns and needs of individuals in our community,” says NorWest Community Health Centres CEO Juanita Lawson. “The Care Bus provided support to thousands of people in our community last year, and the opportunity to make small difference in people’s lives. This approach fits well into the comprehensive model of care that NorWest Community Health Centres offersand our commitment to working in collaboration with our community partners. We want to acknowledge that this would not be possible without support from Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre and Service Canada’s Reaching Home strategy managed by Lakehead Social Planning Council.”

“The Care Bus is an important initiative that helps strengthen our community by providing support while also providing access to mobility, shelter, and more holistic services,” says Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre Executive Director Charlene Baglien. “We are proud to support NorWest Community Health Centres in relaunching this life-saving service that makes our community a safer place.”

“We welcome dynamic projects like the Care Bus that better our community, and the Care Bus presents a means of improving care for and supporting vulnerable populations,” says Lakehead Social Planning Council Executive Director Marie Klassen. “We are pleased to support an initiative that helps build of a better community. The partnerships represented in this project offer another positive example and value of collective impact.”

As part of NorWest Community Health Centre’s efforts to improve the health of Northwestern Ontario, the Care Bus distributes harm reduction supplies, personal protective equipment, and basic needs supplies in addition to the health and social support services available onboard. The bus itself is a Nova Bus LFS contracted from Kasper Transportation, the same model used by Thunder Bay Transit.

“We are very excited to be part of this program and we will do our best to make this partnership with NorWest Health Community Health Centres a great success,” says Kasper Transportation CEO Kasper Wabinski. “We are proud to be part of keeping people safe during the cold winter months.”
This year’s Care Bus will begin operation on Saturday, December 4th, and will be active seven days a week from 12pm to 8pm until March 31st. It will be staffed by two harm reduction outreach workers.

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