News & Initiative Updates

  • Lisa Graham

Safer Communities’ Partner Gitxsan Development Corp. Seeks Funding for The Initiative

As the Safer Communities Initiative (SCI) is entering it’s third year, the project partners are looking for funding to enable a nation-wide rollout as described in an article from The Interior News. The initiative provides a safety app and live response team for people in their moment of need – ranging from someone fleeing a domestic violence to young women hitchhiking down the Highway of Tears. Whoever needs assistance should be able to receive it in a judgement-free way which respects individual’s dignity.

To date, the SCI is responsible for saving one life specifically – a worker in the sex trade in Newfoundland who used the app to get police help on a bad date. “We believe that this speaks for itself,” said Rick Conners, CEO of the Gitxsan Development Corp., “If you can save one life in two years, imagine what you could do with a broad span of support of this application and the services.”

In its first two years, the SCI has received a lot of positive feedback from front line agencies such as the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers, BC and The Blue Door Project in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

What’s holding back the project from reaching anyone who needs it across Canada is funding. “We’re currently looking to fund the mass rollout of the project,” Connors said, adding they are in discussions with major corporations, telcos and governments.

“We do believe this is something that should be supported and carried by all the major companies out there, the government itself, in full support of an application that helps keep at-risk individuals safe regardless of what they’re doing. We are ready and raring to go, all that’s lacking is funding to make it happen.”

The Safer Communities team is currently exploring opportunities at various levels to expand funding for the program, believing that one day every Canadian will be able to access the program in their moment of need.

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