ReConnect Street Intervention Program
Many people think homelessness is a big city issue. The reality is homelessness takes many forms, from those who are absolutely without any place to call home (and many people in Greater Moncton are, indeed, sleeping in doorways, in shelters, under bridges) to the so-called ‘hidden homeless’ — young people, for example, who ‘couch surf’ from one friend’s place to another, to those who are living in unsafe, unaffordable housing.
What is the Y doing to help?
The ReConnect Street Intervention Program is one of many community initiatives delivered by the YMCA of Greater Moncton.
When the local Y established ReConnect 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 youth, adults and seniors who are homeless or at risk of being homeless connect with appropriate community resources, giving those individuals a supportive ‘hand up’ to potentially improve their lives.
YMCA ReConnect workers continue to deliver immediate support where needed, such as referring individuals to agencies committed to assisting with emergency food items 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.
YMCA ReConnect is client-centered. Its core services include:
• identifying and approaching vulnerable or at-risk individuals;
• referring and accompanying these individuals to the appropriate resources (food bank, emergency shelter, legal support, etc.);
• offering psychological support (short-term and emergency interventions);
• helping individuals find more secure housing or an environment that is more favourable to their social reintegration.
What can YOU do to help?
With your help, YMCA ReConnect will continue to serve individuals and families who need a ‘hand up’ to connect, feel a sense of belonging, rebuild their trust in people and find services that can help them.
We accept cash and in-kind donations such as gift cards and hygiene products. Donations can be made as a one-time contribution or as planned installments.
$50 provides a client with government-issued identification, which enables them to access social assistance or to open a bank account.
$250 helps the client to secure affordable and safe housing.
$10,000 ensures YMCA staff remain front-line offering support to clients living in challenging situations.
For more information, please call Trevor Goodwin at 857-0606 ext 2285.
YMCA SUN Supportive Housing
In 2013, YMCA ReConnect received provincial funding to provide outreach services for a new housing initiative in Moncton aimed at helping homeless individuals transition to long-term housing. The funding allowed YMCA ReConnect to hire two Housing Support Workers to work with homeless clients, assessing their needs, assisting with personal goals and connecting them with stable housing and appropriate services. The initiative helps individuals who don’t have safe, affordable housing get out of shelters, into their own housing and helps them remain in that housing with the aid of professionals who do continuous follow-up. The program is making a significant difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
SUN outreach workers provide tenancy support, skills training and help clients build and maintain relationships with their landlords. Clients voluntarily participate and take the lead on what level of support is required.
YMCA Downtown Ambassadors
The Downtown Ambassador program was launched in June 2016, initiated by Downtown Moncton Centreville Inc. (DMCI) in partnership with the City of Moncton and YMCA ReConnect. Through the initiative, two “Downtown Ambassadors” work to provide a variety of public safety, hospitality and goodwill services. YMCA ReConnect administers the program and its staff, whose overall goal is to make downtown Moncton a welcoming and inclusive place for those living, working and visiting. As part of their role, the workers provide outreach services to those experiencing homelessness and work with the business community. Although a more traditional summer program, the ambassadors have worked throughout Spring, Fall, and even the Winter months.
Downtown Ambassadors engage in crisis prevention/interventions and make necessary referrals if needed during their regular walks through the downtown core. The work of the Downtown Ambassadors is carried out in partnership with municipal bylaw officers and outreach agencies.