Wilmington Police, social service and public health partners will celebrate their first year of community outreach walks Thursday at 1 p.m. at 7th and Washington Streets.
This initiative had the goal of addressing unmet social service and public health needs in Wilmington neighborhoods.
Every Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., police officers are joined by a number of social service, public health and community service partners at a different location in Wilmington.
The walks consist of a team of officers and outreach workers establishing a stationary location to distribute information to residents, another team walks through the surrounding neighborhood to share resources and make contact with residents.
“We know well that many challenges that face our residents are not best met by a traditional law enforcement response, and these walks are a prime example of the type of outreach that can provide our residents with the resources they need to improve their quality of life,” said Police Chief Wilfredo Campos.
The community partners in the outreach walks include the Wilmington Police Department, the Community Partner Support Unit Impact Team at the Winder Laird Porter State Service Center, the Porter Center Public Health Clinic, New Castle County Mobile Health Unit, Delaware Community Response Teams, the Wilmington Police Department Youth Response Unit, Westside Family Healthcare, Henrietta Johnson Medical Center and the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health.
There’s been 42 walks thus far, with the following outreach successes:
- 1,512 contacts and referrals made by the Community Partner Support Unit at the Porter State Service Center
- 1,042 contacts made by the Porter Center Public Health Clinic
- 440 individuals provided with Narcan and given training on how to administer the life-saving medication
- 552 contacts made by Westside Family Health
- 811 contacts made by the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center
- 288 contacts made by the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families
Each week, residents have been connected with referrals to social service and public health partners, as well as COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, lead testing and other health services.
The series has also included the distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables, food, health and hygiene supplies, school supplies, children’s books and awareness materials related to public health and social services.
“The Delaware Community Response Team has been participating in the outreach walks since its inception in 2022, providing free Narcan training to inform people on how to save someone from an opioid overdose,” said Allenet Dessuit, community response team coordinator in the Office of Health Crisis Response.
Dessuit said there’s been positive feedback and an overall acceptance of the initiative by the community.
“I hope that we will be able to continue this in the future adding more partners and organizations to provide great services to the Wilmington community,” he said.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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