(Moncton – March 29, 2018) The YMCA of Greater Moncton’s ReConnect Street Intervention Program is looking for a new home.

The YMCA has operated the ReConnect program since 2001, including for the past three years from a building located behind the Canada Post office at 281 St. George Street. The Y learned last week (March 22) that the building’s owner has decided to terminate their lease early, on May 31 instead of at the end of 2018.

“We are very disappointed and are hoping for community support in finding a new home,” says Lisa Ryan, interim director of the YMCA’s ReConnect program. “We provide vital services that have a positive impact on individuals who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. We have until the end of May to find a new location and are confident we will find a suitable space in the downtown core.”

The ReConnect Street Intervention Program is one of many community initiatives delivered by the YMCA of Greater Moncton, a registered charitable organization dedicated to building healthy communities. The YMCA is committed to nurturing the potential of children, youth and families, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community. Its focus on inclusiveness and accessibility means it serves people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life.

“We understand there have been some complaints about ReConnect’s clientele,” says Ryan. “We have tried to work to mitigate the concerns, such as by installing video cameras, increasing supervision on the site and encouraging clients to avoid congregating around the building. Unfortunately, those efforts have not appeased those concerned. We hope to find an affordable, sustainable place to relocate since the issue of homelessness is certainly not going away.”

When the YMCA of Greater Moncton established the ReConnect Street Intervention Program in collaboration with community partners in 2001, the program was developed to do more than just meet the short-term, ‘hand-out’ needs of those on the street, needs such as food or shelter. It was also designed to make a difference in the longer term, by helping individuals connect with the appropriate community resources thereby giving those individuals a supportive ‘hand up’ to potentially improve their lives.

Almost 17 years later, YMCA ReConnect continues to play a vital role in the community, providing outreach services to youth, adults and seniors who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. ReConnect workers deliver immediate support where needed, such as

emergency food, clothing and hygiene products. As well, they contribute longer-term aid, connecting individuals with community and/or government resources in the areas of housing, education, employment and counselling.

In addition to outreach services, YMCA ReConnect currently provides drop-in services Monday to Thursday afternoons. Private appointments are also available Monday to Friday.

YMCA ReConnect is staffed by a qualified, full-time Program Director and two trained, part-time Street Intervention Program workers who see thousands of clients annually.

The ReConnect program is funded by the YMCA of Greater Moncton, the City of Moncton, the New Brunswick Department of Social Development and Downtown Moncton Centreville Inc.

Statistics for the YMCA’s ReConnect Street Intervention Program in 2017:

-      Drop-in centre visits totalled 5,758;
-      307 new clients accessed ReConnect services, a 20% increase from 2016;
-      ReConnect staff conducted 2,416 street level interventions, a 50% increase from 2016.