Towards a Safer Thunder Bay: The 2014 Mayor’s Community Safety Award Winners

Towards a Safer Thunder Bay: The 2014 Mayor’s Community Safety Award Winners

Six individuals and groups were recognized this evening during the 2014 Mayor’s Community Safety Awards ceremony for their work to make Thunder Bay a safer community.

“I wish to offer my sincerest congratulations and thanks to each of this year’s recipients,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “Each of you is doing tremendous work in our community, and rest assured that your fellow citizens appreciate and admire you for your efforts. Crime prevention is a community endeavor – I hope we can all look at these recipients as inspirations as we all work to make our own changes to better our community.”

Presenting Sponsor Thunder Bay Hydro joined several other local companies and organizations – Apex Investigation and Security, the Métis Nation of Ontario, Mac’s Convenience Stores, the Thunder Bay Police Services Board, Union Gas, Shout Media, and the City of Thunder Bay – in supporting this year’s event.

“It is a privilege to be the Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Mayor’s Community Safety Awards,” said Andrew Covello, Vice-President of Thunder Bay Hydro’s Human Resources and Safety Division. “When Thunder Bay Hydro employees are on the job, a focus on safety is vital to the lives of our workers and our customers. So it follows, that we appreciate those in our community who are working towards making Thunder Bay a safer city in a variety of other ways.”

The 2014 Mayor’s Community Safety Award recipients are:

Community Hero Award – Linda Bruins is being recognized for her tireless dedication to building community through bringing people together. Bruins, the Executive Director of Evergreen A United Neighbourhood, works alongside people from all walks of life, building partnerships and working toward the common goal of a healthy, safe and vibrant community. Sponsor: Apex Investigation and Security

Young Leader Award – Jeevan Chahal, a Grade 12 student at Churchill high school, has been involved in Student Crime Stoppers since the program’s inception two years ago. Today, Jeevan remains heavily involved in the program, and has grown into a strong leader on the Student Crime Stoppers Committee, and helping to ensure the program’s message reaches his fellow students. Jeevan also works to make his community safer as a member of the Hate Crimes Awareness Committee. Sponsor: Métis Nation of Ontario

Outstanding Community Project Award – Street Outreach Services (SOS) Program was launched as a way for Shelter House to reach out to some of the most-vulnerable members of our community with compassion and care. The program was launched as a pilot project last winter, part of a Cold Weather Plan designed to address 2013’s harsh winter season, as well as a growing number of admissions to shelters in the city. The SOS Program focused on helping people who were homeless and/or publically intoxicated access needed services like shelter or detox during cold winter nights. Nearly 1,000 people were helped during the four-month pilot phase, and work has begun on expanding the program to provide much-needed community supports year-round. Sponsor: Mac’s Convenience Stores.

Outstanding Community Project Award  Community Arts and Heritage Education Project (CAHEP) is building a stronger community through the arts. CAHEP provides low-cost, accessible arts and heritage education programs to Thunder Bay youth and their families. The multi-disciplinary offerings give youth an opportunity to engage with their fellow community members, building stronger connections with each other and their neighbourhoods. Sponsor: The City of Thunder Bay and Shout Media

Outstanding Community Project Award  Broken Pieces Mended Hearts: A PhotoVoice Journey of Young Parents celebrates the strength of Thunder Bay’s young parents. The program, an initiative of Our Kids Count’s Young Parents Program – with support from Leadership Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Community Foundation – addresses the stigma that surrounds young parents. Through sharing the stories and experiences of the participants, the project educates the public about the issues, challenges and triumphs experienced by young parents, in turn making the community safer and more inclusive for them and their children. Sponsor: Thunder Bay Police Services Board

Outstanding Community Project Award  Zone Watch brings community members together with Police to address the risk factors associated with crime in Thunder Bay. About 100 residents have signed up to participate in Zone Watch since the program’s June 2013 launch, undergoing special training and gaining the opportunity to communicate directly with the police officers who work in their neighbourhoods. The partnership allows community members to participate directly in crime prevention, and allows police to hear innovative new ideas for making Thunder Bay a safer place for everyone. Sponsor: Union Gas

Each Outstanding Community Project received a $1,000 award from their sponsor to support their community safety efforts.

The Awards were presented at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting in Council Chambers. For more information, visit www.thunderbay.ca/crimeprevention.