Archive for the ‘Info & Referral’ Category

Welcome to Devon: our new Evening Office Coordinator!

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Devon

Hey community! There’s someone we’d like you to meet. Their name is Devon, they’re the new evening face of H&H, and they are amazing.

As Evening Office Coordinator, Devon oversees our main office in NDG to ensure that it remains a warm and safe space in which to welcome youth, clients, and other community members. They provide front-line support, coordinate volunteers, oversee our web & social media presence, and more!

Devon has now been with us for a couple months, but it’s already hard to imagine life at H&H without them. This probably has something to do with the incredible wealth of experience they bring to their position: 10 years living in NDG, personal familiarity with our programs and services, and years of professional collaboration while working as a coordinator with beloved allied organizations P10 and the Centre for Gender Advocacy. Oh, and a Master’s degree in Social Work. That too.

Devon is bursting with ideas and energy – we’re so excited for them to add their own particular flavour to the H&H mix, and to help us continue carrying out our mission in creative and thoughtful ways!

Take a few minutes to support trans rights in Québec!

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Trans Rights March

[Image from this past summer’s Trans Rights March in Montreal]

HI FRIENDS! ACTION REQUIRED!

About a year ago, the Québec government brought forward a law with some very exciting promises for trans rights… and we waited a year for the regulations needed to make that law an on-the-ground reality.

Those (proposed) regulations are now here, and… they suck.  They include several requirements that would place trans folks seeking to legally change their name at risk of serious harm.  This is not just disappointing – after so much promise, and such a long wait, it is infuriating.

GOOD NEWS: We can influence the politicians involved to change this regulation!  We can make it better!!  The H&H team has just sent letters to several of the ministers involved, and we’re asking you to do the same.

BONUS: It’s super easy, thanks to some amazing tools created by a collective of awesome trans activists (the same wonderful folks who wrote that analysis of the proposed regulations, linked above)!  Follow these links to download a template letter, as well as a list of contact details for all the government representatives working on this law.

You can send letters by mail or email!  When you do, please shoot a quick message to our friends at the Centre for Gender Advocacy (psa@genderadvocacy.org) to let them know what you’ve done in support of this important campaign.

 

THANKS, COMMUNITY!!!

Trans* Legal Clinic!

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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

Check out Monster Academy!!!

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Are you under 25? Are you interested in talking about mental health?

Monster Academy might be the right fit for you!

Head & Hands has long been committed to combating the silence around mental health, a silence which can lead to isolation, alienation, stigma and criminalization. We think that conversations about mental health can be powerful and transformative, and we are pretty excited to introduce you to Monster Academy, an exciting new(ish) initiative launched in Montreal in June 2014.

Monster Academy is a social justice–oriented workshop series designed to provide accessible, anti-oppressive mental health skills training to youth in Montreal. It is also intended to open a restorative dialogue around the silencing and stigmatization of “being crazy” in the broader Montreal community. Monster Academy is based upon the principles of empowerment, harm reduction, respect for self and others, interdependence, mindfulness, and community serving community.

Here at Head & Hands, we believe in the power of youth as leaders, teachers, and educators. We believe in prioritizing and creating space for voices in our communities. These are shared values with Monster Academy.

Monster Academy offers a FREE 8-workshop course for youth aged 16 to 25. Workshops contain practical components such as self-care and mental health intervention skills, guided discussion on mental health–related topics, and other skills such as group animation. They also offer support to youth interested in developing their own community projects.

Monster Academy is currently accepting participants for the winter 2015 Monster Academy: Mental Health Skills for Montreal Youth program. Application deadline is January 31st! Click here if you are interested in more information or would like to take a look at the application.

Support Sex Workers at Dec 17th Action and Vigil

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ACTION SANTÉ, TRAVESTI(E)S ET TRANSSEXUEL(LE)S DU QUÉBEC (ASTTeQ), RÉZO AND STELLA, L’AMIE DE MAIMIE have invited sex workers, those who work with sex workers, and allies to join in a walk and vigil this December 17th, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Last year, sex workers and allies celebrated a huge victory when the Supreme Court recognized that criminal laws contribute to systemic violence that sex workers experience, and declared those laws unconstitutional (check out this link for more information). This year, however, the federal government introduced a new set of laws (known collectively as C-36) which came into effect on December 6th and will once again cause harm to sex workers – compromising safety, security, and dignity.

C-36 is a big concern for us and the folks we work alongside with on a daily basis. We here at Head & Hands, an organization committed to harm and risk reduction, believe that C-36 will lead to increased surveillance and criminalization of marginalized and racialized communities – trends we are already fighting against! C-36 is a strong reminder as to the importance of our Street Work program, our legal clinic, our work against racial profiling, and our commitment to underscoring the strength and resilience of our communities. These laws also remind us that the fight for safe working conditions, decriminalization, and dignity for sex workers is rooted in demands to end to gendered, racialized, systemic violence. The fight continues.

With the passage of C-36 , we at Head & Hands, along with ACTION SANTÉ, TRAVESTI(E)S ET TRANSSEXUEL(LE)S DU QUÉBEC (ASTTeQ), RÉZO AND STELLA, L’AMIE DE MAIMIE are calling for people to come together  to demand safe working conditions for sex workers.

We encourage you to learn more about the incredible work STELLA is doing, about Bedford v. Canada, and about the devastating laws under C-36.

We are calling upon you to come out in numbers on Dec 17th to support sex workers and call for an end to gendered, racialized, systemic violence. We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

 

When: December 17th, 2014, 4:30pm-5:30pm

 

Meeting point @ 4:30pm

Montreal Municipal Court

775 rue Gosford, Montréal

(Champs de Mars metro)

 

Vigil afterwards

Palais de Justice

1 Rue Notre-Dame East, Montréal

Community contacts: The Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal

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Today, we’re shining the spotlight on a beloved sister organization, the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been able to connect with the NWSM more closely, which has been quite a privileged relationship! More specifically, Sarah, our Daytime Office Coordinator (whom you’ve already been introduced to!) has maintained a relationship with them. Since she joined our team in April, Sarah has been fostering relationships with various community organizations in Montreal.

This summer, Sarah’s had the chance to get a tour of the Native Women’s Shelter, meet their staff, and find out about their services. A few weeks earlier, their executive director Nakuset, who is also the Co-chair of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Network, came to Head & Hands to give our staff team an incredible workshop on the Resilience of Urban Aboriginals. They have also donated a substantial amount of pasta to our food pantry, for which we are extremely grateful!

The Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal is a multi-service non-profit located in downtown Montreal. Apart from providing shelter, food, and clothing to aboriginal women and their children, they hold a number of in-house programs and holistic services such as advocacy and support services, various types of counseling and therapy, workshops, healing circles, elder visits, ceremonies, and more. They also do outreach and prevention work. You can find out more about the amazing and indispensable work that they do on their website.

 

Exciting new pamphlet resource!

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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!

Meet Sarah!

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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!

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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!!

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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!