Archive for the ‘Street Work’ Category

Hike in Fatal Overdoses

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An increase in fatal overdoses has been observed in Montreal over the past few months. These overdoses seem to be caused by heroin or cocaine, regardless of the method of consumption (shooting, snorting, or smoking.) These incidents are especially alarming considering that overdoses caused by smoking or snorting are highly uncommon, yet have recently become a frequent occurrence. This is caused in part by the increased presence of fentanyl in heroine and other drugs, which is a substance 50-100 times more potent than heroine.

If you are a drug user, there are ways to protect yourself and possibly prevent an overdose. Buy from someone you know or trust, and try not to use when you’re alone, but if you have to, leave your door unlocked. If you’re not sure where your batch comes from, start by taking a very small amount (not enough to get you high). It’s not a good idea to rely on the absence of an unusual smell, taste, or appearance as an indicator of a good batch.

Despite this rash of overdoses, Naloxone, the opioid antidote, has still not been authorized by the Ministère de la santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) to be made available to street workers and other non-medical professionals. Naloxone is available anywhere else in Canada and the United States and has saved hundreds of lives from opium-induced overdoses. In Quebec, however, it can only be administered in hospitals, and only 20 health professionals in Montreal currently have access to Naloxone. The Quebec government is currently working on allowing ambulance workers to administer the antidote within the next few weeks. However, folks from the CRAN and Méta d’Âme predict that the expansion of access to Naloxone to streetworkers, community members, friends and family members won’t happen until the fall. So far, one person has died from an overdose everyday since mid-May, in Montreal. 

With NDG being a more isolated neighborhood of Montreal, our streetworker Sara has noticed a higher probability that people use when they’re alone. If you or  someone you know might use alone, and want someone to be around, contact Sara at 514-377-9858 or by email at streetwork1@headandhands.ca.

What’s up with Street Work: 4-month update!

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Last October, we re-launched our Street Work program after a 2-year hiatus, restoring this essential service to our community. Since then, Sara, our Street Worker, has been back on the streets of NDG, bringing our harm-reductive services outside the Head & Hands office and straight to the young people who need her support. We’re excited to share with you some exciting updates about Street Work’s first 4 months back in action!

Sara has been busy giving on-the-spot support, clean needles, crack kits, condoms, and safer-sex and drug use information to youth in NDG.  So far, she has already met with 230 new clients, and has provided 1,425 clean needles 2,151 condoms, and 37 crack kits. From just 4 months of work on the streets, it is clear to us that Street Work is addressing a serious need in our community that would not otherwise be met.

During these cold winter months, Sara has kept busy visiting neighborhood schools and group homes, dropping by to say hi, meet youth, and distribute condoms and information. Sara has also given several harm-reduction and drug workshops to youth in schools and group homes. She wants youth to leave her workshops drug-savvy, and tells participants that she wants them to “be that friend in your friend group” that folks can come to for information.

In the coming months, Sara is looking forward to giving workshops at Jeunesse 2000, our teen drop-in center, and visiting more community centers and teen drop-in spaces in the neighborhood. She is also looking forward to the warmer months, where she will be able to meet more youth in parks and outdoor spaces!

Visit Street Work’s brand-new page on our website to learn more about the services Sara offers, check out other resources on harm-reduction, and learn how you can support Street Work and help keep the program alive!

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!

Ça Marche Reaches for the Moon and Falls Amongst some Superstars

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Well, folks, we did it! Not only have we reached our $25,000 goal for Ça Marche, but we surpassed it! You have all helped us raise just over $26,000 for our health services! We thank you all so much for supporting our Sense Project, medical clinics, and Street Work program as well as joining us for a super fun day. If you weren’t able to participate this year or are in withdrawal of Ça Marche sparkle magic, enjoy this video as it will hopefully tide you over until next year. We can’t wait! Much love.

Street Work is Back!!

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We are so excited to announce that as of October 7th, our Street Work program has returned to NDG!

In 2011, we lost funding for our street work services due to a cut from the government agency that funded the entire program. This was a very heavy blow to Head & Hands, as Street Work had been a core service here since two youth outreach workers founded the organization in 1970. Ours was the only full-time street work program in the neighborhood that offered HIV and Hepatitis C prevention materials, in addition to flexible intervention and support. In the four months prior to the cut, our team reached record numbers of clients, made unprecedented connections with local group homes, and handed out 360 safer injection kits, 60 safer inhalation kits, and thousands of condoms. For the past two years, NDG residents who are homeless, using drugs, doing sex work, or otherwise living on the margins have been largely without these essential services.

Through interviews with former clients and partner organizations, we heard how important it is for us to take our non-judgmental, harm-reductive, youth-empowerment approach out into the streets. Our street workers reach those for whom indoor, institutional services are not accessible due to geography, stigmatizing approaches, or cost. Over the past year of intensive work to raise money and awareness to bring this program back, we have been blessed with the work of our amazing Save Street Work team Cynthia and Gina, our former street worker Sara coordinating the relaunch, and tonnes of community members who eagerly shared their knowledge, experience, and energy!

We’ve reached a fantastic milestone, but the work isn’t done yet! In early 2014, we’ll be hiring a full-time permanent street worker to carry this program into the years to come, and you can help us find the perfect person by spreading the word! We’re also still fundraising to bring this program back to full capacity, and you can help us by donating to the cause, or by sending any leads on funding you find to Victoria at funds@headandhands.ca.

Ca Marche: THANK YOU DANCE!

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HEAD & HANDS SENDS YOU LOVING DANCE MOVES AND THANKS AND SPARKLES AND ONE MASSIVE YAHOOOOOOOO!

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WOW! We wish there was a word that meant thank you times a million because we are so filled with gratitude and love for all of you for contributing to the great success of this year’s Ça Marche! Thank you to the Farha Foundation, our staff, board members, volunteers, dancers, walkers, donors, and support system for making 2013 a record-breaking year for this incredible event!

At this point, $23,000 has been raised and money is still coming in! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the total amount but we have a tickling feeling that we’ll be celebrating a $25,000 result very soon! We’ve been overwhelmed (in the bestest way) with the amount of people who wanted to help support health services for youth! Every donation counts toward supporting our medical clinics, peer sex-ed Sense Project, and the re-launch of our Street Work program. You have all helped us celebrate Montreal’s youth and the lives of all those affected in some way by HIV/AIDS.

This past Sunday’s weather was nothing short of perfect with the sun shining brightly which allowed for some seriously hot spandex and incredible outfits. Our team dressed up to the nines and strutted their sexy selves to DJ Nothing Beats a BJ and Claire’s amazing dance choreography.

It was a total blast of a day and we can’t wait until next year. Stay tuned via our Facebook for photos from Angie and video footage from Jess & Carol!

Ça Marche: You’re Invited!

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September is Ça Marche month on the blog! Let’s come together for the Farha Foundation’s walk on September 29th, and raise money for our HIV prevention, education, and support services for youth. Join our team, make a donation, or come out and shake your thang to help us raise $25,000 for a great cause!  

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We’re so close to one of our favourite days of the year! Ça Marche 2013 takes place THIS Sunday, September 29th and we would love to see you there!

Who: Head & Hands, The Farha Foundation & YOU!

What: A 7km HIV/AIDS walk (which we DANCE) that supports health services for youth and for people who are affected by or living with HIV. Head & Hands is raising funds for our medical clinics, street work program, and the Sense Project, our peer-based sex-ed program.

Where: Parc Émilie-Gamelin (Ste-Catherine Est & St-Hubert)

When: We gather to learn the choreography, celebrate, have some warm drinks and a bite to eat on Sunday, Sept. 29th at 9am and begin the parade at 10am.

Why: We participate because we know how important health services are to youth and we dance because we believe in celebrating the lives of those living with HIV, the lives of those we have lost, and the joys of working with youth. It is also a really fun day where everyone can be their unique perfect selves and we can join forces with other organizations around Montreal that believe in similar causes and share the love alongside us.

How: Join our team, donate, or come with whoever else you’d like and dance or walk with us!! You don’t need to donate to celebrate the day with us. The more, the merrier!

RSVP: “Attend” our Facebook event, contact us, or just show up on Sunday morning!

Notes: Costumes, sparkles, and spandex are not mandatory, but super-fun to have. Dress however you like and bring your pizzazz!

For more info, contact Fundraising and Development Coordinator Juniper or Special Events and Fundraising Assistant Jennifer at 514-481-0277! 

This DEFINITELY wasn’t planned…

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September is Ça Marche month on the blog! Let’s come together for the Farha Foundation’s walk on September 29th, and raise money for our HIV prevention, education, and support services for youth. Join our team, make a donation, or come out and shake your thang to help us raise $25,000 for a great cause! 

WHAT?!? We can’t believe it. A video of four dancers strutting their stuff for Ça Marche has been captured and LEAKED! Check it out and share with your friends before it gets taken offline! It’s the wildest  video we’ve ever seen! HOW DID THEIR BODIES MOVE LIKE THAT?! It’s genius. Better yet, let’s all watch this video and practice the moves and then show up at Ça Marche on Sept. 29th and show them that we know what they are capable of!!!  They. Can’t. Be. Stopped!

For more info, please check out our Facebook event or contact Fundraising and Development Coordinator Juniper or Special Events and Fundraising Assistant Jennifer at 514-481-0277! 

10 Fabulous Reasons to Donate to Ça Marche!

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September is Ça Marche month on the blog! Let’s come together for the Farha Foundation’s walk on September 29th, and raise money for our HIV prevention, education, and support services for youth. Join our team, make a donation, or come out and shake your thang to help us raise $25,000 for a great cause!

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Ok, so we’ve been telling you we want you to get involved in Ça Marche for weeks now, and maybe your’re like: “Gimme one Reason!” Well, we’ll do even better. We’ll give you ten.

1. Head & Hands services were accessed by youth more than 21,000 times last year. Your contribution could allow us to make this number even higher.

2. The Head & Hands Street Work team would provide NDG’s only in-the-streets risk reduction services, reaching those youth at the highest risk of contracting blood borne illness, such as youth using injection drugs.

3. In just four months, our last Street Work team reached 1,195 youth in NDG. They distributed 6,783 condoms, 360 safer injection kits and 64 safer inhalation kits. Imagine the impact this program would have if it were back for good!

4. The Sense Project provided holistic sex-ed to 800 youth last year. When youth speak to each other, knowledge spreads and they can feel comfortable asking questions and sharing stories together in a supportive environment.

5. In a 2011-2012 survey, 97% of participants found the Sense workshops interesting, with 96% believing that the information was useful in their own lives.

6. Our two weekly medical clinics are always at capacity. The clinic received 758 visits and turned away 212 youth in the last year alone, a testament to their importance and impact!

7. Head & Hands is the only clinic in Québec that does not require a psychiatric evaluation to initiate hormone treatment, and one of two clinics in Montréal that see patients without status.

8. We know that there are many layers to offering help and we work together to provide these under one roof. If someone comes in for a counselling session, we can also help with a legal issue, our food pantry, tutoring, or a referral to our young parents program or youth drop-in centre. The combinations of services are endless!

9. We meet youth where they are at and with a risk-reductive approach. We provide a judgement-free environment that allows for safer and educated choices. This means that youth who wouldn’t feel comfortable going elsewhere come to us!

10. We’re dancing for 7km! Rain or shine! Who could resist sponsoring this kind of glittery magic?

Convinced? We thought so.

For more info, please check out our Facebook event or contact Fundraising and Development Coordinator Juniper or Special Events and Fundraising Assistant Jennifer at 514-481-0277!

Ça Marche: What we’re dancing for!

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On Sunday September 29th, Head & Hands supporters, staff, and board, will take to the streets as part of Ça Marche 2013, the Farha Foundation’s annual HIV/AIDS walk.

We’re trying to raise a record $25,000 this year, so we thought we’d better take a moment to shine the spotlight on the services you’ll be supporting by contributing to Ça Marche!

Your donation will support two current core services, neither of which receives any designated funding:

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!

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!

You will also help us bring Street Work services back NDG in their full capacity after a major funding cut:

Street Work supports NDG’s most marginalized youth with in-the-streets risk reduction. The only program of its kind in NDG, street workers offer HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, crisis intervention and active listening, accompaniments, support navigating social services, educational workshops, clean gear, and condoms.

Agree this is worth dancing for? Join our team, create your profile, and start fundraising! We can’t wait to see you there.