Head & Hands will be closing for 6 weeks, from April 6 – May 17, to rest, reboot, and re-envision after a year of being open in the pandemic. You can find a list of alternative resources here: https://headandhands.ca/resources/#streetwork
COVID – 19
Head & Hands’ Street Work program envisions a world in which every person has supportive trusting relationships in their lives, has access to the networks of care that they want and need, and is treated with dignity as they live free of shame or stigma.
Streetwork is a mobile and multi-layered program, operating outside of the office space. Streetworkers build relationships with street involved people, primarily youth, so as to be able to accompany them literally and emotionally in navigating institutions. Their work is non-directional, anti-prohibitionist, and anchored in building community health. As written by L’ATTRueQ, Streetwork is a program being based on “relationships of being, not relationships of doing”.
Our Streetworkers spend time with youth and street involved folks, in places where they hang out (parks, on the street, in youth centres, bars, apartments, motels and metro stations). They are available for their clients to chat, to offer resources, and to give referrals to useful services. They also accompany clients to appointments, for example: court hearings, welfare office appointments, appointments, or landlord meetings.
Free clean injection materials (needles, water, steri cups, sharps collectors, tourniquet, safe injection information). You can also drop off your sharps containers with the street worker. The street worker can meet you where you are most comfortable to pass on clean injection materials you’ve requested. Examples are: on a street corner, at your apartment, in a park, at Head & Hands. We have a range of needle sizes; you can discuss your preferences before meeting the street worker.
Free crack kits (glass pipe, push stick, 5 filters and a mouthpiece, non-lubricated condom, safe inhalation information). The Street Worker can meet up with you to pass on clean inhalation materials you’ve requested. Examples are: on a street corner, at your apartment, in a park, at Head & Hands.
Having someone to talk to if you are in a relationship where there is physical and/or emotional abuse can be helpful, especially if you feel you have no where else to turn. The street worker is going to take your lead and won’t judge you or pressure you to make a decision you don’t want to. We can discuss safety plans, accompaniments to a hospital or shelter, or simply talk about your day.
A street worker can go with you to different appointments that you may have, for example, if you have an appointment to get an abortion, see a welfare officer, attend a court hearing, or meet with your landlord, the street worker can make arrangements to be with you before, during or after those meetings.
Statement for Police
If you have ever been stopped by the police and questioned whether they were treating you fairly or lawfully, give Head & Hands and/or the street worker a call. We can help you figure out the next steps.
Finding a Shelter
The street worker has a list of shelters and you can decide together which one would be most suited to you. In times where you find you need a safe place to sleep, the street worker can help connect you to a shelter and a warm bed at night.
Listening & Referrals
The street worker can meet you somewhere in NDG to chat about anything that may be on your mind. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of or just to listen to how your day is going. When hard stuff comes up in our lives or the lives of our friends and family, the street worker is there to listen, keeping what you’ve discussed in confidence. If you have a question, or are looking for the number to a resource, you can call the street worker’s confidential cell phone.
An assortment of LifeStyles condoms from ultra-sensitive to tough, lubricated & non-lubricated, assorted colours to various flavours are available for free. Don’t forget the lube! Street workers carry both condoms and lube; feel free to ask for as many or as few as you like. We can drop off a few boxes at motels, community centres and schools, and offer large quantities for parties when requested.
The street worker often spends time at Vendôme and Villa Maria Metro stations around 3pm. If there is police presence and they are ticketing youth, the street worker can act as a mediator between police and youth who are being targeted. The same goes for youth who are hanging out in parks, at bus stops or on the street.