Posts Tagged ‘Condoms’

Moving Forward – Together

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Dear community,

The official announcement has just been made – unfortunately, we did not win one of the grand prizes in Aviva’s online competition. However, we did win $5,000, and you can rest assured that we will use it to bring Street Workers back to NDG as soon as possible!!

Although we are sad to hear the news, overall participating in the Aviva competition has been a rewarding experience. In just a few weeks, we managed to gain 4877 supporters and over 11,000 votes from people and organizations who believe, as we do, that NDG’s at-risk youth deserve to be supported. We are extremely grateful to be part of a community that is so fiercely dedicated to youth health, and who supports our work with such strength and love.

WHAT ARE WE DOING NEXT?

We are working hard to carry the momentum created by all of you far beyond this competition.  We have received letters of endorsement from multiple community organisations who supported us during the competition and can’t wait to work side by side with our street workers again.  We’re excited to share these letters alongside our funding applications that are already in progress for a range of promising government and foundation grants.  We are happy to announce that we recently secured our first successful “save street work” grant of $15,000 from the Silver Dollar Foundation, which means that a quarter of the first year’s budget is already covered!

Although we’re doing the best we can, grant-based funding alone might not be enough to bring this program back as quickly as it is needed.

Head & Hands has always believed that social services are strongest when they are offered for the community, by the community.  If you are able to contribute any amount towards restoring this essential service to NDG, please click the link below!  Write “save street work” as an instruction with your donation, and we will designate your gift specifically for the return of this program. If you prefer to give “offline”, please check out other giving options on our website. 

 

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Another great way to contribute is by organizing a fundraising event!  If you have time and energy to help us in this way, please get in touch so we can share some tips and guidelines: funds@headandhands.ca

Again, thank you so much for the amazing support you’ve already shown us.  Together, we will put street workers back in this neighbourhood and ensure that our community’s most vulnerable youth get the support they need!

Ask Anything: Unprotected oral sex – HIV contraction?

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I was getting oral sex from a sex worker. I am really worry about HIV contraction. Please let me know regarding this issue.

I’ll do my best to answer your question, but I’m missing some details that would let me give you a truly accurate response on the risk level for your situation.

Assuming you’re stressed because you didn’t use a barrier (condom or dental dam) when getting oral sex, I can tell you that the HIV transmission rate during unprotected oral sex is not high. There is a risk of contraction for you, but it’s low. Regarding unprotected oral sex, I would be more concerned with the Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or Herpes contraction, because the transmission of these STIs can be from a skin-to-skin contact.

The best way to lower your anxiety would be to get tested for these STIs.  Something to have in mind before getting tested is that STIs have what’s called a window period. A window period is the time where an STI is alive in your body, is contagious, but is not yet detectable by a test. For example, Chlamydia’s window period is 3 to 10 days, but HIV’s window period is 3 to 6 months.

This means that if you’ve had sex and are worried about having contracted HIV, you have to wait at less 3 months after the sexual incounter that is worrying you to get an accurate test result. In most cases, the test will be accurate after 3 months, but to be sure, it’s important to get tested after 6 months as well.

You can always get tested for HIV (and other STIs) at the Head & Hands medical clinic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In the meantime, I would recommend that you use condoms and/or dental dams to make sure that you and your partners are protected.

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Ralph

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“I’m voting for Street Work because it helps me connect to the youth on the street and understand their needs, to be able to provide adequate support.” Ralph, Head & Hands Legal Coordinator

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Jon

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“In many ways, street work is the essence of why Head & Hands exists – we *need* this program to support the youth in our community who get the least help from others.” Jon, Head & Hands Director

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Gina

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“Street work has been a crucial part of Head & Hands since its inception in 1970. Since then, street workers have played a variety of roles in our community: conducting outreach and making youth aware of our services, running prevention and education programs, and extending the reach of essential services beyond our doors to reach youth in greatest need. Researching this history has made me realize how vital this program is for NDG youth; it is essential that we bring back this service to our neighborhood! “ – Gina Metallic, Master of Social Work Student Intern

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: June

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“I’m voting for Street Work because I think every youth should be valued and supported, no matter what challenges they face.” Juniper, Head & Hands Fundraising and Development Coordinator

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Vaughn

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“Street Work clients deserve to have someone’s undivided attention as they articulate what options work best for them.” Vaughn, Head & Hands Front desk Coordinator

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Rhonda

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“Without the Street Work team, I have lost contact with many very important clients and have not been able to reach out to others who do not know I exist.” Rhonda, Head & Hands Counselor

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Why I’m voting for Street Work: Neil

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“Our Street Workers are our eyes and ears on the street that outreach to the people, to be one with the people. We are not getting a certain influx of the youth that might cross the path of Street Workers. We want them back.” Neil, J2K Coordinator, our teen drop-in centre in NDG.

Vote for us every day between December 3 and 12 to help us win $87K and bring back Street Work!

Head & Hands in an online race to save Street Work Program

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December 4, 2012

Press Release for Immediate Distribution

Many young people have fallen through the cracks in Montreal, ending up overlooked and on the streets – it’s a public health issue that youth-focused community organization Head & Hands has witnessed first-hand through its unique Street Work Program. Funding for the essential program was cut last year, but Head & Hands has never given up on Street Work and the youth it supports. Throughout the next week, the organization is in tight competition for $87,000 in funding from the Aviva Community Fund – all they need is to get the word out so as many people as possible can vote online every day for the Street Work Program.

After getting almost 4300 votes from 1410 supporters in two weeks, Head & Hands has moved on to the semi-finals. The voting round is fast and furious – it ends on 12 Dec, so there’s no time to waste – thankfully, voting is easy and fast!

Forty years ago, Head & Hands began with a small Street Work program and over the years has expanded to offer numerous other health, legal and social services to youth in NDG and across the city. At the heart of the Street Work Program are youth at risk, from all walks of life, struggling to meet basic needs like housing, income stability, food security and health care. The usual support systems don’t work, but Street Work does. Street Workers connect with youth where they are – in the community, on the streets – to really support them in making healthier choices. They also provide essential HIV and Hep C prevention with clean needles and condoms, as well as safer-drug use and safer-sex education. Aviva funding will help get the program running again almost immediately, also allowing Head & Hands to build relationships with more funders, such as government agencies, private foundations and individual donors.

Since helping youth stand up for and speak for themselves is a huge part of what Head & Hands strives for, what better way to do that than with a video made for the Aviva campaign: in it, two former Head & Hands Street Work clients talk about their experiences, while Montreal Street Workers and Head & Hands staff address what new funding for the program will provide. Watch the video at https://vimeo.com/53334659. For more information and to vote, check out Head & Hands Street Work campaign competition page at http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf16385.

Contact: Cynthia Beaudry, Save Street Work Campaign Coordinator, streetwork@headandhands.ca , 514-481-0277

Click here for a PDF version of this press release.