Opioid addiction is a difficult and complex social problem that we are seeing across the region and around the world. The City of Cambridge has formed the Community Outreach Task Force in an effort to share solutions and to come up with a coordinated response. 

The Community Outreach Task Force has two main objectives:

  • to share frontline experiences and best practices among the three municipalities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and community partners; and
  • to work together to build on existing initiatives and coordinate a comprehensive and collaborative response.

A large part of the task force's mandate will be to engage with the public, particularly those affected personally, to listen, learn and inform future action. Read the governance model for the task force.

 What will the task force focus on?
The issues being addressed by the task force are complex and inter-connected. The associated social challenges, such as homelessness, substance abuse and mental health, will require a multi-pronged approach - there is no one solution.

Key focus areas for the task force include:

  • Understanding and bringing together the relevant facts, data and information to form a baseline assessment of the current situation.
  • Gaining a more in-depth understanding of the roles and resources currently available to address local needs.
  • Engaging with the community and those affected personally or those that are otherwise impacted to listen, learn and inform future action.
  • Identifying opportunities for innovative and locally driven solutions/approaches over the short, medium and long term.
  • Communicating with the public and advocating with provincial and federal levels of government to raise awareness, identify resource needs and where necessary promote legislative and regulatory changes.
  • Establish a mechanism for the creation of standardized and verifiable data.
 What is the City's role?
The City of Cambridge will serve as the facilitator and provide a regular forum where together, all of the community partners can:
  • build on the existing foundations and initiatives in place;
  • create strong linkages between the various community assistance organizations and support each other in our respective roles; and
  • develop and promote a collective approach to address the complexities and challenges associated with these issues.
Are there any sub-committees?
The task force is divided into sub-committees focusing on key areas including public safety; poverty and homelessness; mental health and addiction; resource allocation and advocacy; and community consultation and public education.
 Who is on the task force?
The task force is made up of a cross-section of frontline stakeholders, experts and service providers from social services, public health, education, law enforcement and more. 

Cambridge Fire Department

Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank

City Coroner's Office

City of Cambridge

Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

CMHA Waterloo Wellington

Downtown Cambridge BIA

Downtown Kitchener BIA

Hespeler Village BIA

House of Friendship

John Howard Society

Langs Community Health Centre


Preston Towne Centre BIA

Region of Waterloo: Public Health and Emergency Services

Region of Waterloo

Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries

The Bridges

The City of Kitchener

University of Waterloo - School of Pharmacy

Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council

Waterloo Region District School Board

Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy

Waterloo Regional Police Service

Working Centre

View agendas and minutes for task force meetings.

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