Head & Hands Blog

What’s up with J2K!?



J2K, our youth drop-in centre, is going through a bit of a space-related adventure this season! Jeunesse 2000 has been at the same location at 3770 Décarie for the past 23 years, in a building that belongs to the Ville de Montréal . A drainage issue with the pool over the summer has forced them to close the building for the next 3 months, in order to do some renovations. These changes have been in effect since September 8th, and should last until sometime in November.

In the meantime, J2K is relocating to the Manoir, where we will have a small drop-in space and gym access. All programming except for MusikAddict will take place at the Manoir on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pmand on Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

For the month of September, MusikAddict sessions will be held at KoSA Academy on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Starting in October, and until we get our space back, we’re hoping to move MusikAddict to Westhaven Community Centre, which J2K has collaborated with and had a good relationship in the past.

For as long as we’re out of our space, J2K can be reached at 514-462-5944. Check out the J2K calendar for details about activities throughout the month of September, and see below for addresses and contact info for the Manoir, KoSA Academy, and Westhaven Community Centre.

Le Manoir (Comité Jeunesse NDG):

5319 Notre-Dame-de-Grace ave (corner of Decarie), 2nd floor, 1st door at the top of the stairs.

KoSA Academy:

2207 Beaconsfield ave. H4A 2G9


7405 Harley ave. H4B 1Y2 514-872-6134


“Why Are You Walking CA MARCHE?”, Part II: Lex Gill


There are SO many good reasons to dance the dance with us, so over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing some of our dancers to see why they do it!


Want to JOIN the Head & Hands team? Sign up HERE!!

Want to SEE last year’s epic dance moves? Check them our HERE!!

Want to DONATE? Donate HERE!!


This week’s walker:

LEX GILL! (To the right of the storm trooper)
Who are you, and how are you associated to Head & Hands?

My name is Lex, and I’m a member of the board of directors at Head & Hands. I study law at McGill University and work for a civil liberties org. I can also do a handstand!

Why are you participating in Ca Marche?

One of the important things about Ca Marche is that events like it work to combat stigma around HIV/AIDS, and give us an opportunity to celebrate life, get inspired, and support amazing organizations doing rad work (like Head & Hands!). I’m participating in Ca Marche because I know it has an impact!

Why should others participate in Ca Marche?

Because we need your support! And also because it’s going to be tons of fun.

I also promised all my donors that if I met my first fundraising goal, I’d dress up like a fairy princess for the walk. Well, we blew right past that target and I had to increase my fundraising goal almost immediately, so you’ll definitely get to see me in wings and a tiara!

Say something about the importance of H&H and its health services within the Montreal community.

Head & Hands is one of the most amazing places in Montreal: it approaches health care and community work from a place non-judgemental, holistic support. Its work has had such a huge impact on the lives of so many young people—including my own.

Anything else you’d like to add about H&H or Ca Marche!

Do it! See you there September 27!

Solidarity through Action: Back-to-School Edition!




To be in solidarity with someone is to support a person by working beside them instead of from above or pushing up from below. It is recognizing that everyone needs help in different ways, everyone is capable of different things, and everyone is deserving of justice and access to services.

It’s September, back-to-school season in Montreal, and the signs are everywhere: crisp fall breezes, packs of students on the streets and buses, and our medical clinics buzzing with the annual summer-is-over rush. September at Head & Hands also signals another wonderful arrival— phone calls and emails from students wanting to get involved in our Solidarity Through Action campaign.

Solidarity Through Action supports students in leading peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and events in their communities, because wonderful things happen when youth get involved in supporting other youth. Fundraising is one of the strongest, most active, and most effective ways to show your support for a cause you believe in. From bake sales to educational campaigns, we raise an important part of our budget through the creative efforts of students from elementary schools to universities— over $20,000 last year alone!

If you’re a student and you have an idea for a Solidarity Through Action campaign or event, or if you’re an educator or school animator and you would like to know more about how to get your students involved, contact Victoria at funds@headandhands.ca.

We’ve got detailed guides for students in any school setting, and we’re available to meet with you or your class to brainstorm ideas and to give you the tools you need to become Head & Hands ambassadors. We look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with you to ensure that our city’s youth get the support they deserve!



Ca marche

On Saturday September 27th, Head & Hands supporters, staff, and board, will take to the streets as part of Ça Marche 2014, the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk.

This year, we’re setting our sights high with an objective of $30,000! We know, we’re ambitious – but we also know that with your help we can make it happen!!
Your donation will support three core health services:

1) Our twice-weekly weekly medical clinics: accessible and welcoming to youth regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status. It’s the only community-based youth-clinic in Montreal, and our health services were accessed almost 2,000 times last year!

2) The Sense Project: peer-based sex-ed program that reached nearly 800 youth last year. Sense offers a series of three holistic workshops covering topics including STIs, contraception, consent, gender identity, sexual orientation and more!

3) You’ll also be contributing to help our newly reinstated Street Work program run better than ever! This program supports NDG’s most marginalized youth with in-the-streets risk reduction. It’s the only program of its kind in NDG, and offers HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, crisis intervention and active listening, accompaniments, support navigating social services, educational workshops, clean gear, and condoms.

There are SO many good reasons to dance the dance with us, so over the coming weeks, we will be interviewing some of our dancers to see why they do it!


Want to JOIN the Head & Hands team? Sign up HERE!!

Want to SEE last year’s epic dance moves? Check them our HERE!!

Want to DONATE? Donate HERE!!


Now, without further ado, let us introduce our very own


Who are you and what do you do at Head & Hands?

My name is Ralph also known as Waahli, I coordinate the legal services and the legal clinic at Head and Hands. As a paralegal I provide legal information to youth explore options and empower youth to make informed decision in a legal situation.

On my free time, I’m also MC, Producer, and performer for Global Hip Hop collective Nomadic Massive, and operate Wyzah Musk Soap, a business environmentally friendly organic soaps.

Still, somehow I find the time to partake in Ca Marche!

Why are you participating in Ca Marche?

I’ve done it in the past and I feel that it is important to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and demystify the myth around it by applying concrete action by walking without taking the fun away, you know being creative about it. It’s also way to gather, share and celebrate life and its many facets in a positive way.

Why should others participate in Ca Marche?

Cuz’ it happens once a year, and it’s one of Head & Hands’ most important fundraisers! Working here, I also recognize the importance and direct impact that these funds have on our programs. Oh yeah, and because it’s always good times!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Be there on sept27th!!






Today, we’re very excited to launch the newest resource on our website: a series of interactive quizzes allowing you to test your legal knowledge and get quick answers to some of our most common questions!

Over many years offering legal support services, certain questions pop up again and again – questions about housing and evictions, labour rights, ticketing and arrests, and dealing with the youth protection system. We’ve gathered these questions together into simple on-line quizzes, which we hope will provide easy access answers to some of your most pressing issues!

If you have a situation that needs deeper answers, and want to go further than these quizzes can take you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our legal coordinator, Ralph, is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays to support youth with questions around all manner of legal issues. We also offer evening legal clinics each Wednesday and Thursday, where community members of all ages can meet with volunteer lawyers for some quick advice. And of course, if we’re not able to support you with your particular situation, we’ll be happy to offer a referral to one of the other great legal resources in this city.

STREET VIBES #11: So street.


photo 5

Street Vibes always beautifully lives up to its name. Hailing from every corner of NDG/CDN, local youth and established musicians came together in an eclectic mix of styles that kept the vibrant crowd fixated on the makeshift stage all night long.

This year, on Thursday August 21, as part of NDG Arts Week, Jeunesse 2000 teamed up with Boutique SubV to create a music venue out of a shop that screams: ‘STREET’! With our backs to a barber shop chair, and our sides to a slick collection of kicks and caps, we gazed in awe at the high-energy show happening on a pop-up stage set in front of a wall of colorful paint cans. It was a sight for sore eyes, and the beats (courtesy of DJ Kevin Smith), rhymes, dance moves, and guitar lines came at us like a wall of vibes.

All throughout the night, Head & Hands served up a healthy dose of hot dogs and veggie burgers to attendees, while the bar kept the crowd loose and loud.

By night`s end, Jeunesse 2000 collected a whopping $895 from donations, which will go towards the Head & Hands youth drop-in center.

Big shout out to all the performers who came out to strut their stuff!

Musikaddict     **     Mello     **     No Dance No Life Crew    **   

 Young Kraze    **    The Moors   **    Susiety    **    Strange Froots   **   

 Danny Rebel    **    Athena Holmes    **    CeasRock

**More photos coming up soon! Check them out on Facebook!

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Young Parents Program: Summer Camp Edition!

YPP parents, children, and staff howling like wolves in the woods.

YPP parents, children, and staff howling like wolves in the woods.

Those of us who spent the summer in hot and sticky Montreal have probably dreamt of getting out of the city to find peace, quiet, and cool breeze in the countryside.This month, Young Parents Program (YPP) embarked on a week-long family camp in the Quebec countryside to do just that.

For the third year in a row, YPP parents, children, and staff came together for a week to escape the city and the stresses of everyday life, and to spend time relaxing with other parents and children in nature. This year, 13 parents and 22 children attended camp. That’s 11 families in total, double the number from last year!

The week was jam-packed with activities like nature walks, pampering and homemade facials, bracelet making, treasure hunts, camp fires, swimming, arts & crafts, hide and seek in the forest, and more! At one point, as the tale goes, the camp witch turned all the children into howling wolves.

According to the parents, YPP summer camp is memorable because of the unity that camp brings—being out of the city, getting to know other parents, kids having time to play with other kids, and being around “YPP family.” The week was such a success that some parents said they would come back again even in the winter!

Two children examining the grass with their hand-made binoculars!

Two children examining the grass with their hand-made binoculars.

Little wolves!

Four little wolves!

Arts and crafts on a rainy day.

Arts and crafts on a rainy day.

Hanging near the river and feeding ducks!

Hanging near the river and feeding ducks.

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A group shot with parents, children, and staff!

Exciting new pamphlet resource!


Head & Hands has a brand new resource, hot off the press, that we’re excited to share with you! This pamphlet complements every bag of food given out through our Emergency Food Pantry. The Food Pantry Pamphlet provides suggestions for combining food items and making meals out of them, as well as a comprehensive list of food security resources in Montreal. 

The emergency food pantry at Head & Hands aims to provide about a day’s worth of food, twice a month, to youth who are struggling with food security. This program has evolved over the years but some recent changes to the food pantry have made it more accessible.

Because some of our clients don’t have access to a kitchen or cooking supplies, we now have a section in our pantry for food that doesn’t require any cooking or kitchen tools. Instead of the usual pasta, canned sauces, vegetables, and soups, folks now have the option of getting pull-top meal cans, nuts, granola bars, juice, crackers, and other foods that don’t require any preparation.

This resource comes as a way of addressing the increase in demand for food security resources. Getting adequate access to food is an issue that many NDG and Montreal youth struggle with. Since we re-launched our Streetwork program, demand for our food pantry has more than doubled. As our Food Pantry is only an emergency service, we try to confront food insecurity though referrals as well. As such, this pamphlet lists close to 60 Montreal food resources categorized as either “food baskets” or “hot meals”.

Get the PDF version of the pamphlet here, or stop by our office to pick up a copy!

Rising from the soggy ashes of Samedi in the Park… STREET VIBES #11 on Thursday!!


This weekend was a very sad one here at H&H: after months of preparation, a full day of rain forced us to cancel Samedi in the Park. It was a tough decision to make, but it feels important to focus our community-building energy towards events that can really bring people together – and Saturday just wasn’t the day for that to happen.

Those rain clouds, however, definitely had a silver lining, and we’re channeling all our energy from the weekend towards our next event on Thursday evening: STREET VIBES is NDG’s ultimate showcase of youth talent, and this year’s event is gonna be on a whole other level than ever before!

From 8pm onwards on Thursday, we’re transforming Sub V into a pop-up music venue and dance club, and hosting a sidewalk BBQ for the whole neighbourhood to celebrate youth culture.  Join us to see a dozen amazing up-and-coming youth acts from NDG and beyond, get a drink at our bar and some food from the BBQ, and dance into the night thanks to DJ OG Kevin Smith.


Featuring performances by: 

- Mello
– No Dance No Life Crew
– Young Kraze
– The Moors
– Susiety
– Strange Froots

Special Guests:

- Danny Rebel
– Athena Holmes
– CeasRock

Street Vibes


Saying goodbye to Juniper, and welcoming Malaika


JB MA blog photo

Today at Head & Hands, we are filled with emotions. It’s a little complicated, so we’d like to break them down for you:

  • We’re sad to say goodbye to Juniper, who is leaving after 4 years as Fundraising and Development coordinator to pursue full-time studies.
  • We’re filled with pride and joy, thinking about all the wonderful things she’s brought to this organization – from helping us climb out of debt and raising funds to restore our street work program to raising our spirits with spontaneous hallway dance routines.
  • We’re incredibly excited to welcome Malaika, our new Fundraising and Development coordinator, who comes to us with amazing energy and impressive experience. We can’t wait to see what she will bring to this position, and we’re so excited for all of you to meet her!
  • We’re overwhelmed with gratitude, as happens every time we reflect on the amazing community support that flows into our work and makes everything we do possible. We often feel like we have the best donors in the world, and our fundraising team is so lucky to work with you all!