Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

Niagara's Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, 2021-2025 is all about making our communities safe and healthy. Our approach to tackle the social issues is to involve the whole community.

Complex problems that affect our safety and well-being can't be solved by just one group or organization.

Many times, situations arise from mental health struggles, addiction, a lack of secure and affordable housing, lack of access to services, or feeling cut off from others. When these things happen, we often have to call the police, paramedics, or rush to the emergency room for help.

By working together with different groups, including police, paramedics, education, health care, social services and community-based agencies, we can do a better job of preventing these problems in the first place.

This means we can make our communities safer and help people lead healthier and happier lives.


The goals of the plan are to create a community where everyone:

  • Is safe
  • Has a sense of belonging
  • Has access to services
  • Can meet their needs (either individually or as a family) for education, health care, food, housing, income, and social and cultural expression

Next steps

July 2021 - June 2025

  • Implement Niagara's Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

Community input

Getting the community involved in creating Niagara's Community Safety and Well-Being Plan was really important.

Staff worked with residents, individuals with lived experience using social and health services, business owners, schools, service providers and service planning tables to make sure diverse perspectives and experiences from across Niagara were included.


The Community Safety and Well-Being Plan has a range of benefits for local agencies, organizations, frontline service providers and residents, including:

  • Enhanced communication and collaboration among agencies and organizations
  • Increased understanding of local risks and vulnerable groups
  • Ensuring services are given to individuals with complex needs
  • Increased awareness, coordination and access to services for community members and vulnerable groups

Highlights of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

As Niagara continues to grow and our population changes, it's important to ensure strong levels of safety and continue to enhance the well-being of residents and communities that are vulnerable due to social, economic or health related risk factors.

Our plan will strengthen how we work with our partners on important issues that impact safety and well-being in Niagara.

  • Planning framework

    The planning framework is made to help different groups work together and encourages planning in four zones of intervention.

    • Social development: Addresses the underlying causes of social issues through upstream approaches that promote and maintain individual and community wellness
    • Prevention: Applies proactive strategies to known and identified risks that are likely to result in harm to individuals or communities if left unmitigated
    • Risk intervention: Identifies and responds to situations of acutely elevated risk and mobilizes immediate interventions before an emergency or crisis‑driven response is needed
    • Emergency response: Circumstances that need intervention by first responders, such as police, paramedics and other crisis-driven services
  • Focus areas and initiatives

    The advisory committee, along with community feedback, identified four areas of focus:

    • Mental health and addictions
    • Housing and homelessness
    • Poverty and income
    • Systemic discrimination in Niagara

    Initiatives for action, alignment or monitoring have been identified for each area of focus.


    • Streamline and coordinate rapid response outreach services to individuals with mental health and addictions and / or experiencing homelessness
    • Implement recommendations found within Mno Bmaadziwin (Living the Good and Healthy Life) Indigenous Engagement Report
    • Expand the Situation Table model beyond Port Colborne based on trends related to calls to police which are non-criminal in nature


    • Improve access to high-quality, evidence‑based services aligned with the mental health and addictions core services framework
    • Address opioid misuse in Niagara through cross-sector collaboration
    • Create a coordinated access system for those experiencing homelessness
    • Support a long-term economic development strategy, including post-pandemic recovery, which seeks opportunities to advance gender equality and inclusion
    • Develop a local Poverty Reduction Strategy which sets local targets and aligns investments to measurably reduce poverty


    Ongoing data monitoring and trend analysis is needed for:

    • Family violence, including human trafficking
    • Support for older adults
    • Support for individuals with disabilities

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