The HOCS team

Formed in August, 2012 on the shoulders of the successful Bell Hotel Supportive Housing Complex project, the Health Outreach and Community Support (HOCS) team's goals include:

  • Better health outcomes for Winnipeg citizens accessing emergency homeless shelters and health services to meet basic needs
  • Robust partnerships with health, social service and community agencies to better serve the population
  • Provide community-based support for broad strategic priorities

The team currently includes:

  • Sharon Kuropatwa, Team Manager
  • Ian Van Mierlo, Clinical Consultant
  • Stewart Wakeman, Psychiatric Consultant (on a .2 EFT basis)

Effective December 2013, the team will receive support from two .5EFT community mental health workers - one in the downtown and one in Point Douglas - who will assist with clients who have a clear mental health issue, but who aren't a good fit or not ready to participate within the mainstream community mental health programs.

In addition to the members of its own team, HOCS has also received support from downtown Community Facilitators and the Healthy Aging Resource Team (HART), both of whom have expanded their program mandate to assist with HOCS.  Two nurse practitioners at ACCESS Downtown who are dedicated to the homeless population customize their service to be responsive and timely, sometimes even accompanying HOCS team members to local homeless shelters and area agencies.

The team hopes to add a support worker and a street nurse in the near future.