THUNDER BAY – The Care Bus will begin operation on Monday, December 19 until March 31st, 2023. The program will be active seven days a week for 8 hours per day and staffed by outreach workers.
The opportunity to operate the Care Bus again this year will once again provide health and social support services, supplies for people in need, and transportation to the warming centres and local shelters.
The Care Bus is a crucial service for the vulnerable population of Thunder Bay during our cold winter months and this valuable service embodies the values of NorWest Community Health Centres.
As an organization, we are committed to providing high quality integrated care to improve the health and well-being of individuals in our community. The Care Bus has become “a warming centre on wheels” which offers safe and accessible services, while also operating as a mobile health and social service hub.
“We want to acknowledge this would not be possible without the support from Lakehead Social Planning Council (Reaching Home), Dr. Peter Centre, Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board, and, City of Thunder Bay Drug Strategy.
Over the past two years of operation, the Care Bus provided healthcare and social services to 8,918 individuals in Phase I and Phase II. We are proud to offer such an important initiative to help strengthen our community by providing support, access to mobility and holistic services again this winter season.”, says Juanita Lawson, CEO NorWest Community Health Centres.
With the increased cost of living, increased demand for social housing, and the need to connect individuals with necessary services in a timely manner, the Care Bus provides a necessary service. Care Bus staff and community partners collectively ensured that 5790 individuals had safe secure shelter, 121 individuals received access to health care, 75 COVID 19 vaccinations were provided, 692 connections were made for individuals to secure social services, 708 harm reduction supplies were distributed, and 10,218 items were distributed to ensure individuals had access to food, water, and warm clothing. We are looking forward to being able to offer these services again this year.