Calgary Transit and the Alpha House are continuing a partnership aimed at connecting vulnerable Calgarians with medical aid, housing support and addiction services.

Started in September 2018, the initiative sees members of the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) team partnered with peace officers at transit stops between the Sunalta and Victoria Park/Stampede stations.

There they engage with Calgarians facing homelessness or addition, troubled youth and people with developmental disabilities to build relationships and try to find positive, long-term solutions for them.

Between September and February, the teams interacted with people 569 times, which transit officials say has resulted in a decrease in the number of customer-reported incidents and safety concerns.

“Through the work of this team, we’ve started to see some real changes in how outreach clients perceive someone in a uniform,” said Brian Whitelaw, coordinator of public safety and enforcement with Calgary Transit.

“Increasingly, vulnerable people are seeing our officers as people they can go to for help and understanding.”

The program is funded through the city’s Crime Prevention Investment Plan, which also provides funding for the DOAP Beltline program.

Started in 1981, the Alpha House is described online as "a non-profit, charitable agency that provides safe and caring environments for individuals whose lives are affected by alcohol and other drug dependencies, as well as mental and physical health issues."

LRT riders who see someone in need of assistance can use a Calgary Transit help phone or dial 403-262-1000 and choose option 1. In an emergency, you should call 911 immediately.