Canadian Protection Services has a widespread service area. Included in these areas is downtown Hamilton and downtown St. Catharines where our team is constantly encountering direct dealings with the homeless population as well as the individuals within our community who live with mental illness and struggle with addiction.
Working with the homeless community was a constant learning curve for the team as there are many different struggles that come with being homeless or less fortunate, such as: mental illness, disabilities and addiction. Canadian Protection Services quickly realized that the homeless population we directly encounter, was quickly increasing faster than the team could keep up with learning about their struggles to better work with them.
In late 2016, Canadian Protection Services brought on their very first in-house Social Worker to the management team, Sarah Weatherston. Upon joining the team, Sarah was fully trained as a patrol driver and then began riding along with the patrol staff to get a better first-hand experience of the specific barriers that we needed to overcome as a company to better work with the community.
In 2017, Sarah implemented a program within Canadian Protection Services to better support the homeless population. Often, the patrol drivers encounter vagrants sleeping at response calls or loitering at sights that the company is responsible for. The patrol drivers will then contact Sarah with the person’s information, and Sarah will find a shelter for the individual to stay at so they are off the property and sheltered for the night. This concludes with satisfaction for the client, satisfaction for Canadian Protection Services, and satisfaction for the vagrant who will then have a warm place to spend the night.
Sarah constantly keeps the company cruisers equipped with boxes that contain snacks, water, Gatorade, hats, socks, gloves, scarves, hand and foot warmers, and personal hygiene products for those within the community who are in need of these products. Sarah is on-call 24/7, 7 days a week. Sarah works closely with a contact at Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and is in the process of having all of the patrol staff trained in SafeTalk training to better support those in need within our community. Sarah spends her time riding along during different shift times with different patrol drivers to assist at calls or responds directly from her residence, to calls where she is needed.
In addition to the community, Sarah is completely available to any of the team members who require any kind of support or are looking for social resources. She responds to sites and will support any team member confidentially and provide any resources they may be looking for.
Since Sarah deals primarily confidentially with our team, she also handles our complaints department. Any complaint that comes to management, although there are not many, is handled discreetly and professionally.