The Coordinated Informed Response (CIR) team is a trained, highly-engaged team of City of London employees, London Police Services and community outreach agency, London CARES who are on the street everyday offering support and services to Londoners living unsheltered in our city. This team also works side-by-side with London businesses to help address issues and challenges they face when dealing with individuals that live unsheltered.
The CIR team is comprised of a number of City of London services areas including Parks and Recreation, Bylaw, Corporate Security and Roads. Each of these services areas has a part to play in helping to ensure the safety of all Londoners and work hard to maintain the cleanliness of both public and private spaces in our City.
The coordinated Informed response process
The CIR team offers a caring and compassionate approach of enforcement when it comes to maintaining the safety and cleanliness of our City and follows a clear process as a team.
When the team comes across individuals living unsheltered that have set up an encampment or has received calls from the community, there is a procedure that the CIR follows to ensure everyone involved – individual living unsheltered, community stakeholder, resident – is informed about what is happening.
Step One - Notice Order
Once a call or complaint has been received or the CIR team sees a bylaw or safety issue, the team will post a Notice Order. The Notice Order will inform individuals of a date that the site needs to be removed by or by which the CIR team will begin cleanup.
The Notice Order has an occurrence number that is referenced to a particular site. Individuals can reference this occurrence number if they are not present at clean up regarding items found at the site.
It is important to note that depending on the safety issues present, the situation and the size of the encampment, the Notice Order date of clean up can be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. If it is a severe safety issue – blocking roadways or sidewalks – they ask can be immediately.
Step Two - Clean Up
The CIR team will return on the date given on the Notice Order to ensure the site has been cleaned up or the individual has moved on.
The CIR team will assess the area, bag any items considered of value that have been left behind and label them with the occurrence number and have them sent to storage for 60 days. Individuals, if not present at time of cleanup, can retrieve their items from our London CARES outreach.
It’s important to note that items such as weapons or those that appear to be related to criminal activity will be released to London Police Service.
Step Three - Receipt of Notice
Once the CIR team has completed a cleanup, they will complete and post a Receipt of Notice. This document lets individuals not present at the time of cleanup where they can retrieve their belongings. This document has the same occurrence number as the Notice Order.
Coordinated informed response team and local businesses
Along with working with individuals living unsheltered, the CIR team is available to help local businesses handle issues and challenges that arise due to our city’s street involved individuals.
Due to privacy issues, the CIR team is unable to enter private property without advanced consent. For businesses looking for CIR team support, they can contact the CIR team and London Police Services to register their consent. Businesses will then display a CIR sticker in their front window which indicates to the CIR team they have permission to enter the property and address issues.
Local businesses can call 519-661-2489 to contact the CIR team.
The coordinated informed response team members
The CIR team pulls from a number of City of London service areas and departments, along with community partners London CARES and London Police Services. Each of these stakeholders play a specific role in the CIR team but they are all working towards a common goal of ensuring the safety of all Londoners.
“This team is a direct connection for us to individuals living unsheltered in our city. The CIR team engages with individuals every day, offering them services and supports, walking them through the services available to them, and more importantly getting to know the individuals.”
Deb Kramers, Manager, Coordinated Informed Response, City of London
Parks and Recreation - Parks & Facilities
This team manages the parks and City of London facilities and respond to needle, debris and garbage clean up. They also report any encampments that they see during their rounds to the Bylaw and London CARES outreach members of the team. This team also is responsible for placing and emptying the needle bins around the City.
Some 2019 Stats:
- The needle bins have recovered 569,727 needles – averaging out 47,477 a month. This is the highest in the past 3 years.
- Highest volume location is Victoria Park, followed by Centre of Hope, 508 Dundas Street, Men’s Mission and the Covent Garden Market.
- This team has added an additional 5 bins in the last year with a total collection of 5,326.
- Parks had 510 requests made through our City website or call to dispatch for needle pickup. It’s important to note that this could be one or multiple needles depending on the site.
- Parks staff while doing regular garbage collection and site clean ups, picked up approximately 1000 needles in total.
- During CIR cleanups, responding sites to sleeping rough or removing encampments, picked up and removed an additional 14,362 needles.
- This team have placed or will be place a few smaller bins in locations identified by the community:
- My Sisters Place
- Cavendish yard and the riverside underpass
- Gibbons Park near the pedestrian bridge
These member of the team enforce trespass violations on City of London property. They also report things like encampments, needles and debris, to the other members of the CIR team. The corporate security team also have nightly car patrols and keep an eye out for the safety of all Londoners.
These members of the CIR team take care of our roadways, sidewalks and all City property throughout London. They take care of garbage, debris and needles left on City property. These team members also do the physical cleanup of encampments.
London Cares & Atlosha
The members of the CIR team from London Cares and Atlosha engage with individuals living unsheltered or street involved. This team conducts wellness checks and works with individuals to find them safer alternatives focused on housing.
They offer available day time resting spaces, shelter, stabilization, food and hospitalization when necessary. While they are doing this, they are engaging and helping individuals get ‘paper ready’ to be places on an active listing for housing.
London Cares outreach can be reached at www.londoncares.ca or via phone (519) 673-3242.
City of London ByLaw Team
The CIR Bylaw team members have a large responsibility within the CIR team.
- They monitor City of London streets, sidewalks and ‘hot spots’ for occupancy.
- They monitor occupancy on both and private and public property.
- They update the team on encampments, individuals sleeping rough or evidence of unsheltered living.
- They enforce Municipal laws and give verbal notification of infractions.
- They report to London Police Services evidence of criminal activity or if someone is in imminent risk or harm.
- They update the outreach team when they encounter an individual living unsheltered so that the team can being engaging.
- When necessary they post official Notices of Orders.
- They respond to community complaints regarding private and public property.
- They arrange to have the Roads team members to meet them and clean up an encampment.
- They update the City’s internal communication system so they entire CIR team has access to daily records.