PROGRAMS AT THE CENTRE OF HOPE
DID YOU KNOW: the Centre of Hope employs at least 15 individuals?
Our intake Program is the first point of contact for individuals who accesses services at the Centre of Hope.
This program provides the essential basic needs of daily living to individuals who are living in homelessness or are at risk of living in homelessness.
We provide warm showers, access to our laundry facility, personal hygienic items and clean clothing such as socks and underwear. We also provide a morning meal of oatmeal or noodles as well through our Breakfast Program. Coffee/Tea/ Hot Chocolate and Ice Tea are always on hand for our patrons as well as light afternoon snacks.
We also provide a sign up computer time service for our patrons as well as an afternoon Activity time that allows staff to connect with patrons through various light hearted activities.
It is at the intake office patrons can sign up for other programs available within our organization such as our Outreach program and Health Clinic.
We also provide a physical address, and phone number for patrons, allowing them to receive mail and to have a permanent address complete with a phone number.
We offer a caring and listening ear to our patrons while most importantly a dry, warm safe refuge during the day.
The Outreach Program is a widely accessed and utilized program of the Centre of Hope. This program offers an array of supports and services to our patrons, who are not ‘housing ready’. Our patrons are offered access to medical appointments, treatment applications and supports in accessing treatment, connection to detox, help with connecting with family, access to Alberta Health Services, referral to other community resources, AISH and Income Support Applications , help with obtaining identification, resume and employment connections, income tax preparation, and a listening ear.
The Centre of Hope has provided a physical address and telephone number for patrons so that they can establish and provide a permanent address and contact information, as a result they can now receive mail. This is able to provide some stability in their otherwise tumultuous environment.
Our outreach team also does street reach – venturing out into the alley ways, often in – 20 degree temperatures in the dead of winter seeking out individuals that do not access the Centre of Hope services; to provide them with adequate toques, mitts and boots and a hot coffee. This process takes place in the summer time as well as our outreach workers will go with bottled water and sunscreen for our street people.
It is our goal to continue to be strong advocates for the homeless and to empower and assist patrons in removing barriers that impede their ability to achieve self-sufficiency.
WOMEN’S WELLNESS PROGRAM:
Through The North East Fetal Alcohol Network (Neafan) we are able to operate a Women’s Wellness Clinic within the Centre of Hope. Every woman who walks through the doors of the Centre of Hope can access medical and community health care. Treatment for sexually transmitted infections can be arranged, pregnancy testing readily available and prenatal vitamin’s provided. This program has been able to successfully assist our female patron’s in addressing their health needs and we are now seeing babies born to women who have stopped or reduced the amount of alcohol and drugs used during their pregnancy. Women are encouraged to have pap testing done annually as well as mammograms. Appointments and transportation are arranged by program coordinators. Our coordinators also are a direct source of support that readily empowers and coaches women to build upon the skills of everyday living.
Funding provided by NEAFAN (North East Alberta Fetal Alcohol Network) has allowed us to provide a home (complete with a house mentor) for 3 Males – who have been diagnosed or suspected of with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). FASD is an umbrella term used to encompass a range of disabilities and birth defects that occur as a result of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. These 3 males are now experiencing independent living under the guidance of the on-site mentor who helps support those men through daily activities. The mentor provides transportation to appointments and support through mental health assessments.
HOUSING FIRST PROGRAM:
The Centre of Hope is a participant in Alberta’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness through the Housing First Program. This model is based on the concept that housing is a basic human right, and a means of providing homeless individuals with the stability that is required to move forward. The Program involves the support of a Housing First Coordinator who works around the unique needs of the individual to navigate the housing system in Fort McMurray and obtain shelter either through the private or subsidized market. Often this includes securing identification and financial resources; subsequently the Coordinator works with the individual to identify attainable goals that will ultimately enhance one’s ability to maintain housing, employment, reintegrate into the community and build upon one’s sense of self. Ideally the Program goal is to help the individual reach independence within a 12 month period, however, the Centre of Hope recognizes that each person is unique and requires varying degrees of support over time. The Centre of Hope and all of our programs and services are geared towards helping the chronic homeless gain and maintain housing.