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What is the CHRRT Model?


CHRRT offers a new, community-based model for scaling up low-threshold HR services by combining three key elements:

Building a team of CHRRTSupport Workers (HRSWs)with lived experience from the community, in orderto offer compassionate, accessible and appropriate supports and services to people who use substances

Creating a centralized resource hub through the CHRRT team at Street Health to provide the HRSWs with community-led training, mentorship and support

Decentralizing delivery of a range of low-threshold HR services at ten neighbourhood locations across Toronto through a community network of CHRRT’s partner organizations


How did CHRRT aim to promote low-threshold HR services?


The plan was for partner organizations to develop a “Response Team” of well-trained Harm Reduction Support Workers (HRSWs) with lived experience of the life situations of people CHRRT aimed to reach, in order to scale up the provision of timely, respectful, accessible and appropriate health-related services and supports. These HRSWs would go out into neighbourhoods to meet with people where they are.

CHRRT also aimed to build the organizations’ capacity to adopt, implement and sustain effective practices in low-threshold HR in response to the opioid crisis.



What was CHRRT’s main strategy?


The project has taken a Knowledge Translation approach: a community-based evaluation strategy that engaged CHRRT service users, HR Support Workers, and community researchers to capture learning about:

    • Effective HR practice

    • Building organizational capacity to offer low-threshold HR responses

    • Promising practices for managers working with HRSWs



What is the CHRRT Model?


CHRRT offers a new, community-based model for scaling up low-threshold HR services by combining three key elements:

    • Building a team of CHRRT Support Workers (HRSWs) with lived experience from the community, in order to offer compassionate, accessible and appropriate supports and services to people who use substances

    • Creating a centralized resource hub through the CHRRT team at Street Health to provide the HRSWs with community-led training, mentorship and support

    • Decentralizing delivery of a range of low-threshold HR services at ten neighbourhood locations across Toronto through a community network of CHRRT’s partner organizations

The pilot project began with the recruitment and selection of people from each partner community who would be employed in the paid role of Harm Reduction Support Worker (HRSW). Twenty-eight people were hired over the life of the project. It funded teams of two part-time HRSWs at each of the partner organizations.