The St. James Town Community Safety Initiative was conceived as a three-phase project with the aim of improving the safety of St. James Town (SJT) by addressing the concerns of residents in a collaborative manner. This program partners with the City of Toronto (funder), the SJT Community Corner, the SJT Service Provider Network, Toronto Police Services, Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Fire, METRAC and the residents of St. James Town.
The first and second phase of this project included resident engagement and data collection, while the third phase is focusing on resident mobilization in the creation of a permanent, resident led Safety Committee and Community Response team.
It is worth noting the most vital aspect of the SJT Safety Initiative has been the positive work of the Safety Ambassadors. These local residents have been the face of the project and have acted as liaisons between other residents and service partners. The goal of the Ambassadors was to create a strong backbone team reflecting the diversity of SJT residents.
Ultimately the resident safety committee, which has already begun its work, will be comprised of volunteers made up of residents from each of the 19 high-rise buildings to ensure diversity and equal representation. The Safety Response Committee will build on what has been set in motion throughout these past two years of work, and will ultimately be responsible for all ongoing community safety initiatives in the future, with the vision of creating a safer more vibrant community.