Support a new Health and Addictions Response Team

Support a new Health and Addictions Response Team

The Health and Addictions Response Team (HART) will be a new in-house, mobile frontline wellness service. It will enable residents and businesses to call 311 to dispatch specialized teams to assist people in need of help and connect them to services.

Health and Addictions Response Team (HART)

  1. Call 311 to dispatch specialized teams to compassionately assist those in difficulty
  2. 25 initial staff members with a variety of skills, including specialist homeless outreach staff with enhanced medical training, mental health and addictions counsellors, and bylaw officers
  3. HART team members will not carry weapons, and will de-escalate situations and provide care using a culturally-informed, gender-informed, and trauma-informed approach
  4. $5 million will be initially allocated to HART in the 2023 budget, using funds from the existing overdose crisis contingency reserve fund established in 2017

Read the plan & background



"Frontline workers in the Downtown Eastside desperately need a number that they can call to bring in mental health experts who can help people in crisis and connect them to available support servicesSometimes simply caring for someone in crisis makes all the difference."

Sarah Blyth
Executive Director, Overdose Prevention Society

"HART has the potential to ensure people undergoing non-violent mental health and addiction-related incidents can get the help they need. We need to support the VPD by freeing up policing resources and allowing them to focus on crime."

Michael Tan
Chinatown community advocate

"HART makes so much sense, and I am excited to work in a city that will support this more respectful approach to our neighbours in distress. Well done Mayor Stewart and Forward Together. We need a mayor and council who will work together to implement this safer, kinder alternative to police intervention."

Janice Abbott
CEO, Atira Women’s Resource Society
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