Doyle Dodge supports efforts of Réseau Access to help the homeless

On Nov. 26, Brian Doyle and Blake Didone, owners of Doyle Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, presented a $10,000 cheque to Réseau Access Network as part of Doyle’s 100 years of Operation Initiative in the community of Greater Sudbury. (Supplied)

A $10,000 donation from Doyle Dodge to Réseau Access Network will allow a social worker there to increase their role throughout the winter months when it is needed most.

The $10,000 donation is part of Doyle Dodge’s 100 years of operation in the community.

“These support services will be one of a kind in our region,” said Lisa Toner, community outreach co-ordinator with Réseau Access Network. “This new initiative will support a population that has long been underserved; particularly in the winter months when it is needed most.”

The COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on Réseau and the marginalized members of the Greater Sudbury community they serve. A number of them have lost their income and some find themselves homeless and living rough.

COVID-19 also highlighted the rise in numbers connected to the overdose crisis and makes the delivery of the Réseau’s services more crucial than ever before, said the agency in the news release. The Agency has seen a 300-per-cent increase in the number of community members accessing harm reduction services since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We expect that some of our clients have even more limited access to ongoing community services that have adapted and/or reduced their service models and may experience a greater need for assistance as a result of COVID-19,” said Toner. “Especially as services and supports in rural and Northeastern Ontario communities are less comprehensive, available and accessible than in urban areas.”

Réseau is well-placed to address the needs of the community as the new clinical service location further removed accessibility barriers faced by marginalized populations and has developed effective strategies to help patients/community members accessing services over the 31 years Réseau has been involved in the community.

The donation from Doyle Dodge will allow a social work position to increase their role of counselling, case management and pathways to treatment services throughout the winter months when it is needed the most by those experiencing homelessness, substance use and at an elevated risk of fatal overdose by six hours a week.