Three years ago, government budget cuts forced us to suspend NDG’s only street work program. We immediately set to work rallying community support in order to bring this essential service back to our community, and your response has been amazing!
Last year, we were able to partially relaunch the program by hiring Sara as a solo street worker. Sara has done some truly incredible work since then: supporting over 460 community members by sharing safer sex and drug use gear, intervening in crises, and supporting people with longer-term needs like mental health, housing, and employment. Still, working without a partner has limited Sara’s reach; NDG is just too big for one person to cover, and some spaces where street work can make the greatest impact aren’t always safe for her to access alone.
And so – this month, we’re very excited to introduce Paul, the second Head & Hands street worker! Paul comes to us with a true wealth of experience supporting youth with addiction, homelessness, and mental health as well as racism, poverty, and the legal system. His 8 years of work in this area include both community-based and government positions, including NDG’s Tracom crisis centre. He is also an artist, having directed multiple films on youth and homelessness and painted several murals for community organizations around the province!
When asked what he’s looking forward to doing here at H&H, Paul said he’s most excited about “keeping it simple, being real, and adding my own colours to the Head & Hands rainbow.” We can’t wait!!!