MB Outreach & Watch Network

MB Outreach & Watch Network

the Respond NOW Community Development Web App

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About MB Outreach & Watch Network

We're building the crowdsourcing, mapping community development web app Respond NOW. This platform empowers neighbours to notify local outreach & watch patrol teams & other registered volunteers of events & needs in their community, creating a map for both real-time response & future patrol planning. We're joined by Matt Bialek, President of Red Bomb Fireworks & BLASTOFF Fireworks. Here's what he has to say about this project: "As we're all aware, police services have their hands full. The 'Respond NOW' app is being designed to direct community resources & supports to non-emergency & crime prevention causes. As a small business owner, I see great value in this cause — By coming together, we can all work toward creating safer neighbourhoods for our staff, families, & friends. This organization has provided invaluable assistance around our retail location in St. James. Please take a look at this fundraiser, & lend a hand, if possible!"

For more information, visit the Manitoba Neighbourhood Outreach & Watch Network website. To take this system to the next level & beyond over the coming year (phase 1), we'll need to invest at least $538 (CAD, after tax). It isn't much, but it's a starting point on a path to ensure the result is safe, secure, & has a measurable impact that truly meets needs in our communities & creates synergy for more efficient & effective efforts to help our neighbourhoods thrive.

When we reach just $60/month, we'll be able to make the web app work more seamlessly across platforms, access 100-times more file storage space, store & process enough data for use across an entire city rather than just in our beta test community, future-proof our secure sign-in process, polish off a professional-looking user interface, grow our maps store up to 5-times more waypoints per map at any given time, create unlimited custom notifications for volunteer coordinator & patrol group dispatches, & connect it to far more Application Programming Interfaces (API) that may be needed to scale the project.

Please join us as we bring communities & industry together, break down barriers, rethink challenges in more holistic ways, & stimulate innovation & better outcomes for all our neighbours. Those who have donated can preview the most recent beta version & get early access to the finished product. Thank you!   

Homelessness: The most recent Street Census found more than 1,100 people experience homeless in Winnipeg on any given day, including over 350 people who are unsheltered; more than 50 people living in encampments; 300 people staying at emergency shelters; over 200 people at 24-7 safe spaces; & over 150 in transitional housing. There are four emergency shelter spaces, with just over 350 beds – 300 of which may be in use. There are also four transitional housing spaces with just over 230 beds – more than 170 of which tend to be occupied.
Needles: Eddie Hendrickson, cofounder of the volunteer community organization Sharp Surgeons, says his group has picked up between 250,000 & 300,000 discarded needles on Winnipeg streets within a year of operation, & things haven’t slowed down despite COVID-19.  “We’re finding bags on the sides of the street, on the sides of the bins with hundreds of needles," Hendrickson says. Hendrickson says he believes dealers are “pre-fabbing” their needles these days — having them ready to go when the user comes in to buy, so they can do their shots on-site & leave the discarded needles in a bag. Hendrickson says more can be done to keep Manitobans safe from the dangers of discarded needles, as he saw first-hand during a stay in British Columbia. “I lived on the streets in East Hastings for four months on my own money, just to see what they do. They do their shots on the street, they drop their needle in between their legs, & when they come out of it, they pick it up & put it in the bin,” he says. Sharp Surgeons isn't the only Winnipeg group hitting the streets to clean up discarded needles. Bear Clan says it's continuing its work — with additional safety precautions — & is expecting a surge in the number of needles collected by the end of the year. By April 2020, they say they had picked up over 80,000 needles, & projected that number would grow to 320,000. In 2019, Bear Clan reported picking up 145,000 used syringes all year long. if things stay the same. Hendrickson says his organization is also expecting similar numbers — or higher. He's cautioning Winnipeggers against handling needles they may encounter, & to contact Sharp Surgeons instead “Anywhere in the city, we will go & get them.”
Source: Global News 
Property Crime: The Winnipeg Police Service says they received dozens of similar damage reports about vehicles in the city’s West District (mostly in Fort Garry & St. James) between December 2021 & February 2022. Officers say they were told of rows of vehicles having their windows smashed out while parked along the road during this timeframe. The Major Crimes Unit investigated & identified a suspect, & on February 6, police observed a fresh string of damage to vehicles parked in the King Edward neighbourhood. With the help of the AIR1 police helicopter, investigators located the suspect driving in the area. A traffic stop was coordinated, & a 22-year-old male was taken into custody. He’s now facing 130 charges of mischief to property & was released on an undertaking. Investigators say they believe the suspect acted alone & didn’t know any of the victims of the vehicle damage. 

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