Safer McCauley - Driven by Community Input

Direct consultation with community members is the cornerstone of Safer McCauley. This summer, we went door-to-door to ask our neighbours about their concerns and how they would like to see them addressed. The information collected helps us work with partners such as the McCauley Community League, McCauley Revitalization, and EPS to bring you relevant community engagements and citizen-driven actions.

While speaking with our neighbours, we asked:

  • “Have you ever been surveyed about safety and well-being in McCauley before?”
  • “What makes you feel safe in McCauley?”
  • “What are your top three safety concerns?”
  • “What would you like to see happen to improve safety in McCauley?”

It has been said that McCauley has been “surveyed to death.” However, among those we spoke with, almost none had been formally consulted about safety and well-being before, and all were happy to share their perspectives.

Participants reported that the key element that makes them feel safe is knowing their neighbours. This was followed closely by target hardening (such as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and self defense) and the presence of police – particularly Beat Officers. While many generally feel safe, it is unfortunate that others do not. And, sadly, several stated that the way to feel safe is to stay home.

Participants identified the following top 10 concerns:

1) Homelessness
2) Needle Debris
3) Trespassing and Loitering
4) Theft
5) Drug Use and Dealing
6) Problem Properties
7) Garbage and Litter
8) Sexual Exploitation
9) Break & Enter
10) Speeding

Throughout 2019-2020, we will continue to facilitate engagements and actions that consider the concerns and solutions identified through community members’ feedback.

The number one identified solution to safety concerns is increased police presence (and closer relationships with police personnel). Many community members would like to see an improved response to needle debris. Some would like to see improved services and housing for street-involved individuals. An equal number would like to see a reduction in the concentration of poverty in McCauley and a broader distribution of services throughout the city.

The information collected allows community members to influence how and where Safer McCauley focuses its efforts. In response to community input, a busy summer and fall has included multiple McCauley Litter Squad “litter blitzes,” Coffee with A Cop, a back-alley party, an EPS Stand Up Parade, a Dog Walkabout, an EPS Safety and Crime Prevention Workshop, enhanced online “Who to Call” resources, and a Community Conversation around the topic of problem properties. Several community members are currently discussing the re-building of a McCauley “Safety Council,” and several stakeholder groups will soon gather to discuss a more comprehensive approach to stray needles. Watch also for a McCauley Safety Social, and Resource Connect 2020, taking place on February 28 at the Santa Maria Goretti Centre.

These events all represent different takes on promoting connectivity, vibrancy, safety, and community health. And all were developed in response to community input. Throughout 2019-2020, we will continue to facilitate engagements and actions that consider the concerns and solutions identified through community members’ feedback.

Thank you to all community members and supporters who give generously to promote well-being for all in McCauley. Consider getting involved. Reach out to your neighbours. Visit safermccauley.ca and Safer McCauley on Facebook. And don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me directly.

Mark is REACH Edmonton’s McCauley Community Convener. He can be contacted at
mark.davis@reachedmonton.ca.

More in this issue

Janis Irwin MLA
Vista Housing
TONYS PIZZA PALACE

Neighbourhood Views

Around the Neighbourhood

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Next Issue . . .

Volume 40, Issue 8 will be published December 15. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also accept submissions of poetry and cartoons. Deadline: November 22, 2019. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.