Niagara Connects is facilitating the work of 30 agencies in Niagara to collaborate with the Goodman School of Business MBA Consulting Group and Niagara Southwest Health Link to build a business case for a centrally-dispatched access system to health and human services for Niagara’s most vulnerable people – ‘those in our community without the means or ability to access health and human services in a safe and acceptable way – such as those living in poverty, frail seniors, people with mental health and addictions challenges, limited mobility, hearing or visual impairment, or the need for life-sustaining equipment’.
In 2012 and 2013, a working group of 16 Niagara partners gathered Getting There building blocks.
In May, 2014, people from 30 agencies participated in a Niagara-wide Getting There Forum, to examine those building blocks and review the Huron-Perth Easy Ride model. Forum participants worked together to identify key components necessary to build such a system for Niagara:
- Centralized coordination of already-existing assets and expertise;
- Trusted partnerships and reconciliation of business models among diverse agencies and organizations;
- Sustainable deployment of funds to support technology/IT, staffing, capital purchases, maintenance, accessible fees for all; and
- Technology to work with multiple operating systems and to support current and future needs.
Two fall 2014 documents published by the Rural Ontario Institute provide relevant background information:
- Towards Coordinated Rural Transportation: A Resource Document
- Accelerating Rural Transportation Solutions: Ten Community Case Studies from Ontario
Mary Wiley, Executive Director, Niagara Connects