We want to highlight some of the amazing work being done by our team members. Patrick and Raj run the Health & Wellness aspect of the Breaking Barriers program at CONC’s new 140 room hotel shelter in Rexdale. The program can be accessed by clients 7 days a week, 12 hours per day. Patrick and Raj work with clients from the moment they begin intake, meeting with each person to figure out goals and prioritize health needs. Health means many different things to this team, as they work with each client from a holistic perspective – asking the question, “what can we do to help you thrive?”
From creating dietary plans and scheduling doctors appointments on Zoom, to reconnecting clients with their family or wider community, a day in the program can be very different from one person to the next.
Nurses from Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) are also on site to triage medical issues, and provide immediate assistance. Most recently, Patrick and Raj worked closely with ICHA to connect a new client with emergency dental surgery after she was assaulted before coming to the shelter.
Going forward, Patrick and Raj want to see the program expand by organizing a flu shot clinic onsite, and running a winter clothing drive. As the Rexdale shelter opened in August, many clients arrived with only summer clothing on hand. Patrick hopes to change that and have a collection of jackets and other winter wear ready to go before our first major snowfall.
What drives Patrick and Raj is their love of building relationships with clients and helping them reach personal goals. Some of the challenges they face is the fact that they are working with people who have experienced a great deal of trauma. They’ve learned that trauma comes in all forms, and can derail pretty much anyone’s path in life. The team expressed that they’re grateful to be able to provide the community connection that may be that first step in real change for someone’s life.
Interested in supporting the program’s winter wear and clothing drive? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.