Belleville detox centre: touring potential sites mid-March

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| Published , updated March 15, 2024

Note: Timeline is published in reverse-chronological order, with the latest update first.

Timeline

March 11, 2024 – Working group is developing a regional continuum of care operating model for submission to the Ministry of Health by the end of March 2024

According to a spokesperson for MPP Smith, following Associate Minister Michael Tibollo’s visit, a working group was formed with collaboration between Minister Tibollo’s team, Ontario Health, the Health Commons Solutions Lab and local stakeholders to build a regional continuum of care operating model with the goal of submission to the Ministry of Health by the end of March 2024.

The continuum of care model involves: “The Bridge Hub,” the detox centre, wrap-around services for mental health, addiction and stable housing.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has submitted a capital funding proposal to Ontario Health with the support of City Hall and as requested by MPP Smith. It will support the relocation of drop-in services to Alhambra Hall with staged renovations that would target a move of existing programming by the end of this year and the addition of additional services identified in the operations proposal within the next year.

Staff are having some discussions with the provincial government,

We are touring a couple of sites this week that they are looking at to consider building a detox centre.

CAO Rod Bovay to Council

February 20, 2024 – Province denies funding for “The Bridge”, telling Belleville the money is not available and that they have to wait

The City of Belleville has already committed to investing roughly $3 million for the expanded initiative of a centralized hub that will offer addictions and mental-health services, plus money to open a detox centre.

  • $2 million from last year’s budget to purchase the former banquet hall at
  • $1 million to renovate it

Ellis responded to the denial of funding

I’m not in any way disparaging or disrespecting the efforts of our provincial partners in their response to our calls for help in the past weeks, but it would be dishonest to say that we were satisfied … with the announcement made last week of $216,000.

There’s no support as of now for our two asks and it was noted that the capital for the hub would be a tough ask

We asked the province for $2 million and the answer was basically you’ll have to wait. As myself, as mayor of the city, it’s time to bring action. If we have to do it by ourselves, that’s what we will do.

Do we keep waiting [for provincial funding], I guess? Wait, wait and wait. We can’t, It’s peaked here, we need to get proper services. Bridge Street United Church facility has outgrown itself.

We can’t wait a month, we can’t wait three months

Our hope was to have this up and running by December this year.

Describing the situation as disappointing and frustrating. “We need to get proper services.”

Mayor Neil Ellis during a news conference

February 12, 2024 – Councillor Chatten asks for a staff report on other municipalities in Ontario that are currently offering a detox centre

On the heels of the request to the province for support and funding due to our state of emergency regarding recent overdoses in the downtown core. I do realize that this is part of public policy, it is a purview of the Ministry of Health, however, we have a positive obligation to be capable partners with the province.

I would like to request that staff be directed to investigate other Ontario municipalities that are operating a long-term detox facility, and to provide recommendations to council on next steps that we need to take in order to get this detox centre closer to a reality.

It is my humble opinion that this is long overdue, we’ve had these discussions again and again, it is incredibly important to this community to get out in front of it. So if I can be so bold as to put that under new business, I would like to have a report to council.

Councillor Lisa Chatten

February 12, 2024 – Mayor Ellis has talked with Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith about the need for a detox centre “many times.”

February 12, 2024 – Chief Callaghan said many communities of a similar size have detox centres, but Belleville does not and that needs to change

November 24, 2023 – Ryan Williams joins the call for a detox centre in Belleville

Our tax dollars are being depleted dealing with the addiction epidemic in our community,

To tackle the ever-growing drug problem in Bay of Quinte, a Detox Treatment Facility is needed. It will ensure our already depleted tax dollar will be stretched to get the best outcome.

MP Ryan Williams

Discussion on Reddit

September 26, 2023 – Police Chief Mike Callaghan pushes for detox facility to help homeless

Chief Callaghan he’s taking steps to have an addictions support and detox centre established in the community to help address the needs of the homeless population, rather than simply tossing them in a cell repeatedly. Local social services involved include Hastings County, Bridge Street United Church, and Canadian Addictions and Mental Health

It’s really a community approach to this because if just one agency tries to secure a detox centre, it’s not going to address the concerns of the entire community,

This is a collaborative approach. We want to ensure that not only do we have all the stakeholders at the table, but that this program is going to address the needs of our unique community.

Chief Callaghan

March 16, 2023 – Chief Callaghan: Necessity for a Belleville Detox Centre

The attached article stresses the importance of a Belleville Detox Centre and the implications that could arise from the Police housing an intoxicated person by alcohol and drugs. The purpose of this information is to draw attention to the importance of having this type of support facility in our community. The

Report to the Belleville Police Services Board

If you look at those suffering from homelessness, being at the top, you look at the next corner of that triangle being the transition opportunities that are here in Belleville, there’s the other side of that triangle that we haven’t fulfilled, which is a opportunity for someone to engage in a detox centre to get them out of that addiction

I often use the illustration; you hit your head against the wall for 40 years, and you realize that the practice that you’re doing isn’t working

Chief Callaghan

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