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Timmins taking pro-active approach to addictions and homelessness

City of Timmins officials said they want to help its community partners when it comes to negotiating with upper levels of government in addressing the high rates of homelessness and deaths from drug overdoses. 

"We have a public health emergency on our hands here and having all hands on deck is important so we can move as swiftly as we can," said Dave Landers, chief administrative officer for the city of Timmins. 

As Timmins moves ahead with implementing a 'Community Safety and Well-Being Plan' and establishing the 'Safe Health Site Timmins', one of the key people on the deck will be Meagan Baranyk, a woman with front-line experience who has been hired as the community strategies coordinator for the city. 

"My main role to is basically to understand current services. There’s a lot of agencies in Timmins and every one is working so well, but it’s about blending them together and let’s work well and not as silos," said Baranyk.

"We see a lot of gaps in mandates that different service providers have and so people fall through the gaps … and so by helping agencies work together by making sure we identify need and bring services to bare where that need is we should be better served," added Landers.

Baranyk will coordinate with organizations such as the Porcupine Health Unit, Timmins and District Hospital and Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board and report back to the city. 

Over the next six months, she said she's planning to design some key strategies. 

"Timmins is very fortunate to have very strong collaborations so it’s really easy coming into this role knowing that we’re just coming together and we just have to work collaboratively to address the issues that we’re all facing in our city," said Baranyk. 

Landers said he's excited for where this approach will take Timmins, especially longer-term, as it moves towards having more preventative and less responsive actions when it comes to addressing issues facing vulnerable people. 


The original article stated Meagan Baranyk is a social worker in error. This has been corrected. Top Stories

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