Welcoming Streets

Modelled after the Guelph Business Improvement Area’s Welcoming Streets Initiative, the Downtown District Welcoming Streets Initiative is designed to support BIA businesses and vulnerable individuals simultaneously by addressing business concerns and providing direct systems navigation support.

Sara Behring, is our Welcoming Streets Steward!

In supporting individuals experiencing homelessness though direct outreach, individuals may access services faster.

This immediacy results in:

  • An understanding of various referral processes & appointment facilitation between client and service
  • Client advocacy, person-centered care, and acknowledgement of lived and living experiences
  • Positive and empathetic interactions between business and individual
  • The development of meaningful trusting relationships
  • Reduction in calls to local police department & a proactive approach to supporting others
  • Reduction in potentially violent situations
  • Stronger sense of community and inclusivity
  • Community partnerships (businesses and social service sector)
  • Cohesive approach and a reduction in the duplication of services provided

The Role of the Welcoming Streets Steward and Other Support Services

The Welcoming Streets Steward works Monday-Friday, with flexible shifts from the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., dependent on the identified needs of the community. They are dedicated to the downtown core and address concerns identified by business owners and the public about street-involved individuals who may be at risk.

Sara – Welcoming Streets Steward

  • Establish a rapport with members of the community in order to respond to situations that may require de-escalation and/or referrals to additional support
  • Direct outreach
  • Case management
  • Provide resources and education to businesses and community members:

Belleville Downtown District BIA

  • Suggestions on how to improve the downtown customer experience
  • Ideas on how to change public perception of downtown Belleville

Belleville Police Services ADMIN Line

  • Welcoming Streets Steward is unavailable, and you’ve been directed to make contact
  • No immediate threat to the safety of any individuals that may be involved
  • Wellness checks

Belleville Polices Services

  • Welcoming Streets Steward is unavailable, and you’ve been directed to make contact
  • Immediate threat to the safety of the individual or others
  • Witnessing a crime or a crime is in progress
  • Emergency
  • Trespass to Property Act
  • Mental health crisis

“Welcoming Streets is already proving to be an integral addition to our Downtown Belleville community’s toolbox. Sara’s one on one conflict resolution guidance has already helped us with some event-related aspects of our business that helps us as owners feel more prepared to provide an even better experience for our customers.” – Stacey Kerr, Scalliwag Toys