The Abbotsford Opioid Working Group received a grant from the Province of British Columbia to fund ‘Project Angel’, an initiative aimed at combating the opioid crisis. Project Angel works closely with community groups within Abbotsford and Fraser Health.
Project Angel is managed by an AbbyPD Police Officer (Cst. Ian MacDonald) and a paid Peer Support Coordinator (Kiah Ashley). The Peer Support Coordinator receives client referrals from first responders (police, fire and ambulance), community support agencies, the client’s family and friends – and often the client themselves. The Peer Support Coordinator then connects the client needing help with a Peer Support Worker – in most cases within a matter of hours. Once the connection has been made, the Peer Support Worker provides support and facilitates access to resources.
“A sustained, coordinated and concentrated effort is required to defeat this continuing crisis in our communities. Collaborative interventions, like Project Angel, help rapidly mobilize services and are standout examples of police departments taking leadership on the ground – in this case prioritizing the need to connect the most vulnerable people to the treatment and the care they need,” says Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
Inspector Casey Vinet, Officer in Charge of the Operations Support Branch, states “We are pleased to support the Project Angel initiative. Helping at-risk individuals improve their lives by connecting them to much- needed services is important and rewarding work”.
Project Angel staff is provided with resource manuals, cellular phones, first aid kits, naloxone kits, blankets and business cards – all carried in a bright-orange, easily-identifiable backpack.