February 2 2018
Hamilton, ON – Yesterday, Hamilton City Council’s General Issues Committee (GIC) considered the 2018 budget from the Community & Emergency Services and Public Health Services departments. General Manager, Paul Johnson provided the General Issues Committee with a summary of 2017 achievements towards improving the health and wellbeing of Hamiltonians, and a look ahead at major initiatives in 2018 for the departments.
Community & Emergency Services’ preliminary budget proposes savings of $900,000, and Public Health Services’ preliminary operating budget proposes an increase of under $178,000.
Highlights for 2018 include implementation of the $50 million Poverty Reduction Plan which includes new affordable housing investment, investments into the quality of social housing stock and Indigenous led poverty reduction. Additionally, the budget presentation highlighted some of the priority initiatives for 2018 that will support Hamilton in being a safe and supportive city where people are active, healthy, and have a high quality of life such as:
- The completion and opening of the Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre, equipped with gymnasium, fitness rooms, leisure pool, an indoor walking track and craft rooms;
- Developing the City’s first Urban Indigenous Strategy;
- The development a comprehensive city-wide Drug & Opioid Strategy focusing on the pillars of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement;
- Improving access to social housing through an enhanced social housing waiting list;
- Putting evidence into action: strengthening understanding and use of population health data and identification of priority health issues to inform system and service programming both within the City of Hamilton and with our partners in the community; and
- Supporting healthy schools with new evidence informed strategy for school health and enhanced collaboration and planning between public health and schools.
Quick facts about Community & Emergency Services in 2017
- Created access to 598 child care spaces, and eliminated the waiting list for families who rely on subsidized child care.
- Exceeded Housing First goals by having housed 218 individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Increased access to older adult programming in all recreation centres through the It’s Your Day! program providing 1610 older adults with opportunity to participate in physical movement programs, fitness classes, and educational workshops.
- Increased youth engagement and participation: over 500 youth have made contact with the Xperience Annex over 1700 times either in a single visit or as part of their daily routine. The youth have been connected with various community services and programs that support mental health, housing and education/employment opportunities.
- Continued to engage the community in conversations about the future of our city. The 2017 Our Future Hamilton Annual Summit had over 400 residents and stakeholders in attendance.
Quick facts about Public Health 2017
- In response to the growing concern about opioids locally and across the country, Public Health supported the Mayor’s Opioid Summit establishing a working group to support a community wide response, developed an opioid public education campaign, launched Opioid Information System website, conducted a Supervised Injection Site Study, and expanded Harm Reduction program. Public Health distributed 1700 life-saving naloxone kits – 453 people reported having been revived with their kits.
- Conducted 11169 inspections ensuring food service providers, tobacco retailers, public pools, residential care facilities, personal service settings, day cares, and regulated professionals are providing safe services to consumers.
- Provided dental care to 5372 low income residents who do not have insurance. Provided 27279 vaccines to prevent and control the spread of communicable disease in the community.
- Handled 7782 Health Connections calls from parents to public health nurses about healthy growth, development or any parenting issue.
City Council will hear presentations by other departments of the City over the coming weeks, and will consider approval for the final operating budget in March.