Sunday, May 1, 2011

Available resources in Sherbrooke

Here are some resources available in Sherbrooke who provide help for homeless people.

La Chaudronnée de L'Estrie is a nonprofit organization that provides a meal service to people living situations of poverty. It meets basic needs and plays a preventive role against health problems related to food. The Chaudronnée is also a meeting place for discussion which helps alleviate isolation, create links and relationships in mutual aid.

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L’Auberge du Cœur La Source-Soleil is an organization who provides shelter for people from 18 to 30 years of age. It helps people who have personnel difficulties which can’t be dealt with alone and or who are homeless.

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L’Accueil Poirier is refuge for men and women who are homeless. They provide 10 beds for man and 10 beds for women, they offer breakfast and supper. People have access to a locker and a storage room for their personal belongings. Interventions take place if desired by the person. There is a washer and dryer as well as reference for shelter, medical and or psychosocial reasons. All services provided are free of charge and confidential.      

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The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, provides shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.
When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

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Activity conducted in order to raise awareness in the population of the Eastern Townships

For three straight years 9 students of Sherbrooke University will leave the comfort of their home to participate in the 5 days for homelessness. This campaign consists of staying 5 days in the streets as a goal to gather funds and food to help homelessness in the Eastern Townships. This event was from March 13th to the 19th. During the 5 days, the population is invited to participate if they desire. There are also many activities to gather funds that are organized throughout these five days. The rules for the participants in the 5 days for homelessness are:
1: to live outside for 5 days.
2: to revenue is attributes to them, 100% of the money and food received will go towards the cause.
3: to have no access to food supplies.
4: to have only one pillow and a sleeping bag
5: to have no access to showers or any other facilities students have rights to
6: Sleep outside
7: must assist all their regular classes during these five days
8: restrained from all personnel communication i.e. cell phone, e-mail, etc
9: to write about their experience

Great idea from these students. It is a nice gesture to show that some people do care. I would be curious to know if there are many people who participate during this campaign. It would certainly be something to look into and perhaps to participate in also. 

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Homelessness: Social Isolation

Homeless people unfortunately live in isolation and often have to rely on resources like kitchen soups to find any form of support. According to the Health Street report (2007), 37 % of homeless people claim to have no exterior support at all in case of emotional crisis. Also, 34% said they never or rarely have someone to listen when they need to talk. The Health Street report also reported that 38% constantly feel lonely and remote from others.

When hearing stats like that, it helps to make people acknowledge that homelessness is not a choice.

3 types of Homelessness

1) Situational or transitional: This is when someone is forced into homelessness because of uncontrollable circumstances such as loosing a job, important material lost, lost of main breadwinner(father, husband, wife) etc.

2) Episodic or cyclical: This is when a person repeatedly falls in and out of homelessness. This often happens with drug addicts and with people experiencing mental health issues. The person might live episodes of severe depression cyclical way and fall back in homelessness when these occur. Same for someone with drug abuse issues. The person may be able to stop consuming for certain periods of time and get off the street, while being at high risk of homelessness all the time.

3) Chronic: This is when an individual is in the street for a long period of time and very few or no resources are at their disposition to modify their situation. Often, these people will suffer from mental health issues. They wont have the ability to modify their situation without the support of others. It is very rare that someone will be homeless all of his or her life on a voluntary basis.

Source: Réseau solidarité du Québec (2006).Pour une politique en Itinérance.

The Dangers of Homelessness

Being homeless is certainly not the most comfortable situation to live in. In fact, it can be very dangerous. According to the street health report (2007) 1 out of 3 homeless person is physically assaulted during the course of a year. This is one of the risks of living in the street, you never know who you might run into. Also, 1 out of 8 homeless are assaulted by a police officer in the course of a year. This is unfortunate. Police officers have as a mandate to protect the people on street, not to harm them, no matter who they are. Finally, 1 out of 5 homeless women are raped over the course of a year. In the street it is obvious that women are more exposed to that. They may put themselves in dangerous situations in exchange of money but the simple fact of being in the street exposes them much more than any other women.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More than $1.2 million approved to help the homeless in Sherbrooke - Human Resources Development Canada Press Release

Here is an interesting article published in 2002. Financial support was attributed to many Sherbrooke organizations who help work with homeless people. It sad however, that this was the case in 2002, since no singnificant amongt has been donated. This issue has to be spoken of  a lot more in order to get help from the govenment and other organizations.
SHERBROOKE, Québec, July 8 /CNW/ - Twelve Sherbrooke organizations are receiving over $1.2 million in federal funding to support projects designed to combat homelessness. Funding is being provided through the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), under the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Denis Coderre, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of Parliament for Bourassa, on behalf of the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Federal Coordinator on Homelessness. "The Government of Canada is pleased to support projects that bring together community partners to help people in need," said Mr. Coderre. "With proper support, these people will have a chance to adopt a healthier and more stable lifestyle."
The funding for these projects will enable the Sherbrooke organizations to provide essential services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The attached backgrounder provides a list of the approved projects. In addition to the Government of Canada funding, some of the projects are receiving financial support from the Government of Quebec or parapublic, municipal or community agencies. "In Quebec, projects announced to date under the SCPI, the Urban Aboriginal Strategy and the Youth component of the National Homelessness Initiative come to more than $59 million," added Minister Coderre. The National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) works in partnership with community organizations, the private sector and all levels of government to help Canada's homeless people by bringing together various partners to develop local solutions that work to address particular homelessness needs and issues.
Through this co-ordinated approach, the following programs are available to support communities across Canada: the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative; Urban Aboriginal Strategy; the youth component of the NHI; the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative; and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Renovation and Conversion Programs, as well as the Shelter Enhancement Program.
In February 2001, the governments of Canada and Quebec signed a cooperation agreement on the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative. The agreement is in keeping with the jurisdictions, policies and priorities of both governments regarding matters of homelessness. A joint management committee oversees coordination of the agreement in Quebec. The committee is supported by an advisory committee that brings together representatives of both levels of government and of community organizations. Funding for the National Homelessness Initiative was provided for in the December 2001 federal Budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.
For more information on the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative, visit our Web site at < a href="">
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