The Community Outreach Transit Team (COTT) is a partnership between the City of Edmonton and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society’s “New in Town” program. Our goal is to build relationships and connect individuals within the transit system to community support and resources to increase safety and reduce harm.

Together, Transit Peace Officers and Outreach Workers will provide compassionate support for individuals to address concerns such as housing, mental health, substance use, and financial assistance.

COTT is a two-year pilot project. It launched in September 2021.    

For Stat Holidays that fall in the regular work rotation (Mon-Fri), only one COTT team will be working from 11am to 7pm.

What is the Community Outreach Transit Team pilot program?

A partnership between Transit Peace Officers and outreach workers from Bent Arrow. The team will jointly help Edmontonians who require more specialized support on transit. Guided by the values of dignity and respect, they will assist individuals and help them access support and services, such as housing, mental health care, substance use resources, and financial assistance.

Why are you pairing up with the Bent Arrow Society?

Bent Arrow outreach workers are trained to provide a person-centred and trauma-informed response to social challenges. Together, TPOs and Bent Arrow outreach workers can deliver a coordinated response through a compassionate, trauma-informed, and human-centred lens. 

Our partners at Bent Arrow bring a wealth of knowledge about community resources and will provide a supported connection for follow-up. 

What are COTT’s days and hours of service?

Initially, the Community Outreach Transit Team will operate Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm.  

Where will COTT be? Will the teams be in the same locations all the time?

The teams will be interacting with Edmontonians across the transit system. Certain locations may be visited more frequently based on needs.

Where did the idea for COTT come from?

The City of Calgary has had a similar program for a few years; we regularly talk with our colleagues in other cities and reached out to them to learn more about their program and results. We wanted to leverage best practices and felt this program could be piloted in Edmonton. 

Will COTT be permanent?

As part of implementing the pilot, we will measure the results and report back to Council with a recommendation about whether or not it should be a permanent program.

What other resources are available?

If you are in need of services, help is a phone call away 24/7. 

  • Call 780-232-2782 for Bent Arrow New In Town Program On-Call
  • Call 211 to speak to someone about where and how to find support 
  •     OR the Distress Line at 780-482-HELP (4357)
  • Call 780-424-2424 for access to addiction and mental health programs 
  • Call 911 for emergencies 

If you see a person in need of services on transit, please call or text Transit Watch at 780-442-4900.

Who is the Community Outreach Transit Team available to?

COTT outreach services are open to any individual on the transit system in need of specialized support.