Archive for the ‘Info & Referral’ Category

Meet Sarah!



All of us at Head & Hands are so excited to welcome Sarah, our new Daytime Office Coordinator! She’s been bringing in the sunshine every morning since early April, welcoming community members and providing information, referrals, and support to youth throughout the day. Alongside her warmth and her excellent instincts, she brings with her experience at some of our favourite Montréal community organizations, including Filles d’action, DESTA, and Face à face. Say hi next time you’re in the neighbourhood!

Meet the front-desk crew!


Volunteer Appreciation Party, March 2014

Meet our current group of front desk volunteers! After this winter’s 30-hour training, we’re up to sixteen wonderful people who are on the desk once a month or more at our main offices. Volunteers commit to one year with us, but in our third year running this program, we still have folks from our first ever front desk volunteer training working with us. We rely on these volunteers to give our Office Coordinators time off the desk: to supervise their colleagues, go to committee meetings, do community outreach and advocacy work, or take a day off. Front desk volunteers also support our programs in many different ways. Not only do they take on projects like funding research, calendar maintenance, and resource preparation, they also provide front-line support as part of our Information & Referral program. We love our front desk folks, and couldn’t do what we do without them!

Give the Gift!!



Did you know that since street work re-launched in October, demand for our emergency food pantry has more than doubled? The need for our medical, legal, and social services is growing, and so we put on our thinking caps to increase financial support this winter. Allow us to introduce our new fundraising campaign, Give the Gift!

When you donate online through Give the Gift, you’ll receive a package of custom-designed cards, ready to print at home and give to friends and family on behalf of each donation. Give the Gift was made possible thanks to two talented local Head & Hands supporters: web programmer, Danielle Bakhazi, and youth artist, J’VLYN.

No matter the occasion, we’ve got you covered in English and French, with cards for celebrating gratitude, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulatory moments, incredible friendships, a new life, or just because! 

Give the Gift cards are perfect for the person who says they don’t need anything, who doesn’t want more stuff, who wishes they had more time to volunteer, who believes in buying local, who believes in homemade gifts, who believes in ethical giving, who you have no idea what to buy, for the person who loves Head & Hands, and for the person that you love. 

No matter who is on the receiving end, they can’t deny the wicked awesome goodness that comes from a donation being made in one’s honour to support youth in our community.

Okay, so we’ve explained why it’s amazing. But how does it WORK?!

1. Go to our Give the Gift page by clicking here

2. Decide how much you want to donate via your credit card or PayPal account

3. Receive a PDF file with a ton of beautiful cards

4. Pick the card you like

5. Print the card you like

6. Personalize it and send it!

7. Enjoy being the best gift giver ever.

It’s easy and fabulous.

Have any questions? No problem! Call Juniper or Jen at 514-481-0277!

Internship Offer: Volunteer Program Development


Does your program require you to do an internship, stage, or placement? Do you want to do it at a community organization whose approach is holistic, empowering, and harm-reductive? Are you seeking an internship to develop your skills in program planning and facilitation? We’re looking for you!

We’re seeking an intern who will work about 10 hours or two days a week for the full academic year. In collaboration with their supervisor, the intern will design, publicize, and co-facilitate a 30-hour training program for front desk volunteers. The intern will also work on program development, devising and implementing better systems to connect these volunteers with meaningful and engaging projects that support Head & Hands programs and services.

The ideal candidate is:

  • Committed to the H&H mission, vision, and approach

  • Self-directed and independent

  • Ready to contribute their ideas about addressing sexism, racism, transphobia, and other forms of oppression in a volunteer training setting

  • Ready to contribute ideas about selecting, organizing, and supervising volunteer projects and work

  • Bilingual

  • Comfortable animating groups and navigating group dynamics

  • Available afternoons and/or evenings

If you’re interested, email by Monday September 2nd at midnight and let us know why you think you’d be a great candidate for this internship. Please include the subject line “Volunteer Program Development Internship Application” and attach your CV! Head & Hands recognizes the important experiences and perspectives brought to the table by those who are members of traditionally disadvantaged groups, and encourages candidates from those groups to apply.

We’re Hiring: Daytime Office Coordinator


Head & Hands is a non-profit community organization dedicated to youth empowerment. We offer health, social, legal and recreational services to youth between 12 and 25 years of age.

The Daytime Office Coordinator, alongside the Evening Office Coordinator, oversees our main office in NDG and ensures that it remains a warm and safe space in which to welcome youth, clients, and other community members. Main responsibilities include: crisis intervention and front-line work with youth; advocacy and support for clients seeking information, resources, and services in Montreal; keeping tabs on developments with other organizations and services that share our approach and/or clients; managing our office supplies/equipment and supervising our IT person; training and supervising volunteers and interns as needed; collaboration with other administrative and program staff as needed; and collective duties such as supervising colleagues, serving on committees, and contributing to office maintenance.

Type of work: Permanent
Hours: 32hrs/week
Salary: $16/hour starting wage
Benefits: 3 weeks paid vacation in first year, 10 sick days, 3 mental health days, professional development opportunities, group health insurance, collaborative work environment


  • Commitment to non-judgmental, youth-centred, holistic approach
  • Patience, flexibility, and perceptiveness
  • Training and/or experience with crisis intervention, active listening, conflict de-escalation
  • Experience in front-line and/or youth work
  • Familiarity with Montreal community organizations and services, especially for youth
  • Connections to or background within one or more of NDG’s diverse communities and cultures
  • Excellent written and oral communication in English and French
  • Ability to troubleshoot, multi-task, and work under pressure
  • Strong organization skills
  • Great time management skills
  • Excellent staff and volunteer coordination skills
  • Experience in non-profit and/or collective teams
  • Commitment to consensus-based decision making
  • Computer knowledge (Microsoft Office, social media)


  • Organizational and policy development experience
  • Experience with collaborative decision making
  • Educational background and/or work experience in a related field
  • English to French translation skills

Head & Hands recognizes that we live in a society that does not value and respect all people equally, and we strive to incorporate as many different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences as possible into our team. If you feel that your perspectives and/or experiences are frequently unheard or undervalued in this society, we encourage you to mention that in your cover letter. Ideal start date is as soon as possible, 15 July at latest. Please direct all questions to Hannah at

Application deadline is Monday June 17th, at 10 a.m. To apply, send CV and cover letter via email to or via fax to 514-481-2336 with “Attn: DOC Hiring Committee” in the subject line, or bring a hard copy to 5833 Sherbrooke West.

We thank you in advance for your interest. Only those who are selected for an interview will be contacted.

Graphic Design Dreams Do Come True

Shannel, graphic design intern extraordinaire

Shannel, graphic design intern extraordinaire

Ever since we launched our new website and logo, we’ve been in the process of trying to update our publicity materials to match our new branding. We’ve tried working with volunteers, we’ve had all-staff critique sessions, and nothing quite worked. When Shannel got in touch looking for a five-week graphic design internship placement, we immediately loved her portfolio and jumped at the chance to bring her on. Her style and drawing skills totally fit our vibes, and were the answer to our publicity materials prayers!

Over the past five weeks, Shannel worked with nearly every single program coordinator and administrator to complete an amazing number of projects:

  • new general, YPP, and J2K brochures
  • posters, flyers, letterhead, and stickers for SERVE
  • AGM invitations and flyers
  • PowerPoint template for H&H presentations
  • thank-you postcards for our darling donors
  • updated Sense Project lightbulb logo
  • templates and infographics for the Sense Project
  • beautification of our new Non-Hormonal Birth Control pamphlet (created by midwifery stagiaire Laura-Jeanne)
  • mystery surprise for a beloved member of the H&H family

Keep an eye out for her work, coming soon to a website or mailbox near you!


“If this was social work, then I was hooked”

Testimonial by Becca, 25, front-desk volunteer

Testimonial by Becca, 25, front-desk volunteer

A little over a year ago, I packed up a prospective career in the NYC fashion industry in search of something that would bring true meaning to my life. With no answers yet in sight, I signed up as a volunteer at the Head & Hands front desk, and began a transformative journey that led me to the graduate program in clinical social work that I will be starting in the fall.

There was one client that particularly touched me, a young woman who had run away from home, and who came into Head & Hands one afternoon to warm up. We sat and chatted as she sipped her coffee, not about anything of particular importance, but about enough to allow her to ease back into her chair in comfort. I asked her if she was hungry, and she was, so I prepared a bag from our emergency food pantry. I asked her if she needed a place to rest, and she did, so I made some phone calls to find her a place to sleep that night.

When she got up to leave, I reinstalled myself at the front desk, and noticed that she had paused at the front door. “Hey,” she smiled, “thanks.” And with that she turned to go. Although I hadn’t fixed all of her problems, this teen’s heartfelt thank you helped me realize that I had given her more than just resources. I had provided her with a safe and non-judgmental space to just be. If this was social work, then I was hooked.

Throughout my time at Head & Hands I eagerly signed up for as many shifts as they would give me. I was moved and inspired by the positive and vibrant energy the team created on a daily basis that had clients regularly dropping in for even a quick hello.

I feel so lucky to have been a part of the incredible work that Head & Hands does. My experiences with our clients confirmed for me that a fulfilling life entails supporting youth. I know that I will carry Head & Hands’ values with me as I work towards a future empowering youth as a mental health social worker.

New Volunteers on the Front Desk!


Intern Émilie and volunteer ZaZa reorganize our zine library. Check it out next time you’re in!

We are so excited to welcome six awesome new front desk volunteers to Head & Hands! This group completed a thirty-hour training in February, where they learned about our approach and protocols through workshops and roleplays, and got to know most members of the H&H team. Huge thanks to intern Émilie, whose (often hilarious) contributions to the coordination and facilitation of this training were invaluable.

Volunteers will take on regular shifts each month, during which they’ll help keep our pamphlets stocked, our resources up-to-date, and our offices comfortable and welcoming for clients, while providing information, referrals, and support to those who call or walk through our doors. Their volunteer shifts also provide time off the front desk for our Info & Referral Coordinators, so they can carry out collective duties like committee work and peer-to-peer supervision, and create space for program visioning and coordination. This is the second year we’ve offered this volunteer opportunity, and we’re so excited to see what unfolds with this group over the next year!

Transsexual and transgender women denied access to shelters as temperatures drop in Montréal


Reposted from ASST(e)Q, in solidarity and in support of their work and advocacy.

ASTT(e)Q urges Québec shelters to change discriminatory practices

25 January, 2013 – As temperatures drop to extreme lows, transsexual and transgender women in Montréal continue to be turned away from many homeless women’s shelters. Over the past week of bitter cold, ASTT(e)Q, a local trans health project of CACTUS Montréal, has witnessed several of our members be denied shelter on the grounds of being trans. While such refusals are frequently justified by administrative regulations, members of ASTT(e)Q believe that these exclusive practices are rooted in discriminatory attitudes towards trans people.

A majority of women’s shelters throughout Québec require trans people to have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and/or to have changed their legal sex. “Such requirements are unattainable for most homeless trans people, due to prohibitive costs, and extensive administrative requirements,” says Mirha-Soleil Ross, staff of ASTT(e)Q. “Trans women are left with no alternatives, as men’s shelters are clearly not an option. With no place to turn, homeless trans women find themselves on the streets, which in -30 below temperatures is nothing short of deadly.”

“Just this week, a trans woman who had her surgery months ago was refused access to a woman’s shelter because she didn’t have an ‘F’ on her identity documents! While we believe trans people should have access to shelter and housing regardless of surgical status, this is a clear case of discrimination disguised as administrative regulations,” continues Ross.

“We are currently seeing many important legal and social advances for trans people, including in neighbouring Ontario where one can change their legal sex regardless of surgical status,” says Nora Butler Burke, coordinator of ASTT(e)Q. “In Québec, trans people have been relentlessly educating intervention workers and calling for shelters to address the exclusion of homeless trans people for decades. Yet shelters continue to refuse trans people based on the outdated policies of the Québec Department of Civil Status.”

In the context of life threatening temperatures, ASTT(e)Q urges all shelters to immediately remove barriers to admission for trans people based on the legal documentation in their possession and/or their surgical status. More broadly, we advocate for access to shelters, as well as other gender specific services, to be available according to one’s social identity rather than according to their legal or surgical status. We encourage organizations across Québec to work in collaboration with trans community groups to ensure that trans people are no longer denied access.

About ASTT(e)Q (Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec)

ASTT(e)Q aims to promote the health and well-being of trans people through peer support and advocacy, education and outreach, and community empowerment and mobilization. We understand the health of trans people and our communities to be interrelated to economic and social inequalities, which have resulted in trans people experiencing disproportionate rates of poverty, un(der)employment, precarious housing, criminalization and violence. We believe in the right to self-determine our gender identity and gender expression free from coercion, violence and discrimination. We advocate for access to health care that will meet the many needs of our diverse communities, while working collectively to build supportive, healthy and resilient communities.

For interviews: Nora Butler Burke at 514-347-9462
For terms, definitions and additional information about trans people: