Author Archive

Our Medical Clinic Is Taking A Break!

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To be able to provide the best services they can, the medical clinic staff needs some rest and self-care time! Our clinic will be closed from August 24th to September 5th inclusively, we will be back on September 7th!

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In loving memory of Darius Brown

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Head & Hands would like to extend our deepest sympathy, support, and love to the family of Darius Brown, who passed away last Thursday Nov. 17, 2016, in NDG. We would like to extend our support to his family, friends, and community. You are in our thoughts and our hearts.

Rhonda, our social counsellor, as well as members of our streetwork team are available to you should you need support in this difficult time. You can reach us at 514-481-0277

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AGM 2016- Proposed bylaw Changes!

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We will be hosting our AGM on July 4th 2016 at 5:30pm in the old wading pool in beautiful Girouard Park. Theres lot’s on the agenda- we will tell you about the year we had, exciting plans for the future, we will vote in new board members,  and we will be proposing a number of bylaw changes! We are going to need your input and help! The proposed changes document is long, and text heavy, so please take a look at them before the AGM.  If you would prefer to talk them through rather then read them, that’s no problem- just get in touch and we’d be more than happy to chat. Of course, you should also get in touch if you have any questions.

Thanks! See you on the 4th of July, if not sooner!

 

 

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SEEKING FRONT DESK VOLUNTEERS!

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Passionate about youth empowerment, harm reduction, and holistic legal, social, and health care services? Love NDG? Love Head & Hands? We need your help!

Head & Hands is looking for committed, open-minded, and enthusiastic volunteers. You are likely up to the task if you are invested in non-judgmental, anti-oppressive, and social justice approaches to community-based programming and community building.

Specifically, we are seeking front desk volunteers to work in conjunction with our office coordinators. Tasks will include working at our front desk (approximately 6 hour shifts, 1–4 times per month), directing clients to the appropriate Head & Hands service, providing referrals and information about other Montreal organizations, and acting as first responder for clients in need of support and crisis intervention. As a front desk volunteer, you will also have the occasional opportunity to help out with programming, projects, and events.

Think you might be interested?

We offer a 30-hour training program for our front desk volunteers aimed at introducing you to Head & Hands’ diverse clientele and approaches to meeting their needs. Past training has included workshops around harm and risk reduction, crisis intervention, active listening, de-escalation skills, and the history of Head & Hands.

Still interested?

Ideal applicants are:

  • Age 17 years or older
  • Able to commit to 6–20 hours per month of volunteering
  • Able to commit to 6–12 months of volunteering
  • Available for a regular shift, weekday daytimes and/or evenings
  • Fluent in English and spoken French
  • Available for training session workshops in the evenings and on weekends in July

Still considering applying? Here is a testimonial from one of our front desk volunteers about their experiences with the program:

“Volunteering at the front desk of Head & Hands makes me feel like a part of my community. I look forward to my shifts! Head & Hands is the best and volunteering at the front desk is great.”

 YAY! You’ve decided to apply!

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Please complete the volunteer application form by June 14th at 5 pm. Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview shortly afterwards. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Devon and Linda at info@headandhands.ca, or call (514) 481-0277.

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Please join us in celebrating Paul’s memory

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Last month, we were extremely saddened to share the news that our dear colleague Paul passed away suddenly on Friday April 3rd, 2015. Paul was one of our two Street Workers, and provided on-the-spot support to NDG youth where, when, and how they needed it. His dedication, empathy, and joy were both infectious and inspiring. The loss of this unique and wonderful person is deeply felt throughout the many communities Paul touched with his light.

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Please join us in celebrating Paul’s memory and time with us. On Tuesday May 26th, we invite community members to gather together to plant seeds around NDG – in honour of Paul’s impact on the neighbourhood. The seeds we will help support and nourish bees contributing to environmental and community wellbeing; philosophies that embodied Paul’s work and represents Head & Hands’ approach to holistic health.

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There are a number of ways to participate in this memorial:

  • On May 26th you can join us at 5833 Sherbrooke West (our main office) to pick up seedbombs as of 2pm. You are invited to join a small walking group that will leave around 2:15pm or you can grab the seeds and commemorate Paul in your own way.
  • We will give out seeds until they run out – so if you can’t make it on the 26th and would like to participate, give us a call and if we have any left we would be happy for you to come get some.

 

If you need support, we invite you to please call us at our main office at 514-481-0277.  

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Volunteering at Head & Hands

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We love our volunteers! They are amazing, solid, inspired, exciting, and  creative  members of our team and a huge reason we are able to do all that we do to support youth in our communities. We invited our volunteers to write testimonials about their experiences of volunteering for Head & Hands, and we are in awe of the words, stories, and beautiful insights they have shared with us. So today on our blog, we have chosen to highlight the voice of one of our amazing volunteers!  We have so enjoyed getting to know our volunteers and we know you will too!
When I first arrived in Montreal in 2012, I felt like a little boat adrift in unfamiliar waters. In Ottawa, where I had lived for the vast majority of my 23 years, I felt at home. Each downtown street in Ottawa is, for me, paved by memories and each bus stop is as familiar as my mom’s living room. I took for granted that I belonged to my community and my community belonged to me. In Montreal, suddenly I knew what it was to be a stranger, disconnected from my comfortable network. After a few months feeling anonymous and out-of-place, I realized that community is like anything else: the more you put into it, the more you get out. By volunteering at Head + Hands, I became connected once again. I learned that the heart (and the head, and the hands) of community is people taking care of one another. During my training, I became a part of my community by learning from wise peers. Sitting at the front desk, I became a part of my community by connecting people to resources, by being a welcoming face for a young person nervous to access a service they need. Deep in conversation with volunteers, staff, and clients at Head and Hands, I became a part of my community by listening to its collective needs and feelings, its diversity of opinions and goals. Today I feel like my little boat adrift at sea has docked in port and retired its sails for a while, because this lovely island is a place I can call home”. – Front desk volunteer
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Why Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum is leaving Quebec in the dust (and how we can catch up)

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Have you heard? Ontario has a new sex-ed curriculum! This curriculum update—the first since 1998, i.e., around the time Google was invented—will be implemented in schools this fall, and covers a bunch of ‘new’ topics including same-sex relationships, sexting, and masturbation.

While it’s hard to predict how this new curriculum will be implemented, we are super excited that Ontario is taking steps toward a sex-ed curriculum for the 21st century! We are also pumped that the conversation is expanding to become more comprehensive, inclusive, and holistic. High fives! At the same time, we at Head & Hands are making the same sad faces we had back in 2005 when the Quebec government basically removed sex ed from the curriculum. Because they still haven’t put it back!

Quebec is lagging behind when it comes to sex ed, and youth are the ones who are losing out. Sure, some sex ed is happening—by community organizations like Head & Hands and some teachers—but it certainly isn’t happening at the level or frequency required to meet the needs of our province’s youth. From the Sense Project’s past 10 years on the ground doing sex ed to fill in these gaps, it has become clear to us that the government needs to step up!
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Ten years have passed since the curriculum reform, and we have seen stats go in the wrong direction in Quebec. STI rates are rising (and yes, F@#% STIgma), and so too are rates of relationship violence. At Head & Hands, we believe that in order to address these challenges, we need sex ed in every classroom that is non-judgemental, holistic, and speaks directly to youth.

We think that youth deserve consistent, reliable access to information and tools regarding sexuality, consent, boundaries, gender identities, and healthy relationships. Having access to emotional, behavioural, and communication tools can support youth in making informed decisions about their sexual health.
Access to comprehensive sexual health information is more important than ever in an era when youth can find all kinds of sex and sexual health information at the click of a mouse (or touch of a screen). The debate over access to sexual health information has changed—youth are accessing and exchanging information at increasingly frequent rates. We believe that accurate information being at the core of that exchange is a priority—to address myths and STIgma; to foster dialogue around diversity and empowered decision making; and to facilitate the development in youth of self-knowledge about bodies, desires, values, and needs when it comes to sex and sexuality. We applaud the steps Ontario has taken, but we need more.

We spoke with  Global TV to help folks understand the context of sex ed in Quebec, and to share what we think Quebec should be doing about sex ed in our province!

We at Head & Hands are calling for the development and implementation of a mandatory non-judgemental, holistic, youth-empowered sex-ed curriculum as well as ongoing trainings for educators, social service providers, and front-line workers. Youth are learning about sex in a million ways—let’s support them in making informed decisions about their health and sexuality.

 

 

Big changes for our food pantry

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The thing I love about working the food pantry is getting to meet and chat with people while sharing food and resources!

Big changes are being made to our food pantry!!

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By providing a couple days’ food to folks who need it, the emergency food pantry is an essential piece of Head & Hands’ game plan towards fostering a healthy and food-secure community.

Like all our H&H services, we approach our food pantry from a non-judgmental and holistic philosophy- no questions asked! As an emergency food provider we understand that a major challenge for many people to access services like food resources is not having an ID – and we know there are many reasons why someone may not have ID. We don’t think that should be a barrier to accessing food. We do our best to make it as easy as possible for you to come in and grab what you need. The general process for the food pantry is pretty straight-forward: if you are between 12-25 you can pick a bag twice a month; if you’re over 25- you can come by once a month. You don’t need ID, proof of address, or proof of income! Let us know if you have kids – we offer extra for families! The pantry is divided in two sections – food that needs to be cooked, and food that doesn’t, because we know not everyone has access to a stove or kitchen.

Good news… We have expanded the food options available and have added soy milk to our pantry! And….

We are now accredited by Moisson Montreal, the largest food bank in Canada, whose mission is to redistribute food donations to community organizations. Their donations will not only increase our food pantry stocks but will also mean bigger and better things for our YPP collective kitchen and more food options at J2K!

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We love our Volunteers!

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Are you one of our volunteers?

As you know, Head & Hands offers all kinds of services and resources to youth in our communities—a medical clinic, a legal clinic, a youth drop-in space, a young parents program, street work and risk-reduction support, dozens of sexual health workshops, popular education, and advocacy. We also have a comprehensive information and referral system, offer a food pantry, and provide counselling, tutoring, and instrumental support to youth and young adults from our local NDG community as well as across Montreal. Hundreds and hundreds of people come through our doors, reach out through email, and call us for support and resources. Our main office is open 11.5 hours a day, 5 days a week, with services offered at J2K on Saturdays as well!

How do we manage to do so much? VOLUNTEERS!!! OUR FANTASTIC RELIABLE AMAZING INSPIRING WONDERFUL  BRILLIANT VOLUNTEERS!!!! Whether you’ve given 2 hours once this year or dozens of hours multiple times, we couldn’t have done it without you. You are literally the reason we can run all of our programs and provide so much support to youth in our communities! Let’s be extra clear: You are at the heart of Head & Hands.

WE THINK YOU ARE AMAZING AND WE WANT TO TELL YOU!

SO WE ARE THROWING YOU A PARTY!

When: Friday, March 27th, 6:30 pm–9:00 pm

Where: Centre Communautaire St Raymond’s Community Centre, 5600 Chemin Upper Lachine (Metro Vendome + 90 bus or 104 bus or a 5-7 minute walk)

Who: You, other volunteers, and the Head & Hands staff – feel free to bring a plus one

What to expect: Light food and drinks, music, games, prizes, mingling

Accessibility information: St Raymond’s Community Centre is wheelchair accessible with an automatic door and elevator. There is a wheelchair-accessible, single-stall bathroom on the same floor as the event. Childcare will be available. Please let us know if you have any other accessibility requests by emailing eoc@headandhands.ca.

Please RSVP by March 14, 2014.

We hope you can make it!

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Trans* Legal Clinic!

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Clinique juridique Trans* legal clinic logo

Do you want to change your name and sex designation legally and wish you had a bit of support navigating the bureaucracy involved?

ASTT(e)Q is hosting a Trans* Legal Clinic series and it might be a great place for you to find the legal support you have been looking for!

Community members, lawyers, and law students have come together to offer support to trans* folks wishing to legally change their name or sex designation. For the first few months, the clinic will be hosted by ASTT(e)Q, a trans health organization in Montreal. And we at Head & Hands couldn’t be happier about this initiative!

At Head & Hands, we support trans* youth and we respect people’s right to self-determination. We receive many first-hand accounts of how hard it is to not have the necessary identification to access things like housing, banking, school, work, food banks, and medical care. Using ID with the wrong name or sex designation can put people at risk and can cause emotional and physical harm. Having ID that properly reflects your name and presentation can make a big difference.

While not all trans* identified people want to change their name or designation of sex legally, many do, often because they face incredible barriers to accessing health and social services using ID cards incongruent with their chosen name and their gender presentation. However, even folks who have chosen make these legal changes may struggle to do so, frequently because the process is long and daunting. If you need support or information regarding your application process for legal name or sex designation changes, the Trans* Legal Clinic could be a good place to start!

This January marks the first in this series of legal clinics for trans* folks hosted by ASTT(e)Q to provide legal information and consultations on changing name and sex designation on identity papers. From now until May 25th, ASTT(e)Q will be hosting the Trans* Legal Clinic once a month during the ASTT(e)Q Monday night drop-in, 7–9 pm. Volunteer law students will provide legal information, with the volunteer supervising lawyer, Samuel Singer, offering free consultations. It is important to note that the clinic can only provide legal information and consultations about changing identity papers and not about other legal issues (check out the Head & Hands legal clinic if you’d like to see a lawyer about other issues). Appointments happen on a first come, first serve basis. The space is wheelchair accessible, and services are offered in both English and French.

Where:

ASTT(e)Q is located at 1300 Sanguinet, Montréal (between metros Berri-UQAM & St-Laurent)

When:

Monday, Sept 26th, 7–9 pm

Monday, Feb 23rd, 7–9 pm

Monday, March 30th, 7–9 pm

Monday, April 27th, 7–9 pm

Monday, May 25th, 7–9 pm

For more information on the Trans* Legal Clinic please contact cliniquejuridiquetrans@gmail.com

For more information on ASTT(e)Q please contact James McKye: james@astteq.org