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Weekly drop-in centre for city's most vulnerable opens tonight

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Feb 04, 2014 - 3:10 PM |
A community group that helps vulnerable people access the social services they need is launching its drop-in centre tonight.

NOAH’s SPACE – which stands for New Opportunities and Hope's Supportive Partnerships Advocating Community Empowerment – will hold a grand opening from 6-10 p.m. at Greater Sudbury Police Service storefront on Shaughnessy Street downtown.

The Community Drop In will be held Tuesdays each week. Run by NOAH’s SPACE and its partners, the centre will offer resources, referrals, workshops and social inclusion to clients in the downtown core who are marginalized or at risk.

The effort to reach the vulnerable group is an effort to fill gaps in social service delivery in Sudbury.

“There are few front-line services that offer crisis intervention, resources, or referrals -- or simply a safe place to attend outside of regular business hours for men, women and youth,” NOAH’s SPACE said in a news release. “This excludes many persons from the umbrella of delivery, and limits social services’ ability to reach out to vulnerable persons at a critical time.

“In addition, many people who belong to social groups feel marginalized from social services because they belong to stigmatized groups including 'addict,' 'sex worker' or 'mental health patient.' These groups have indicated that traditional models of service delivery fail to meet their needs.”

The drop-in will offer a number of services, including:

-Weekly health clinics;
-Access to social service providers and volunteers;
-Educational workshops on such topics as employment, violence, self-esteem, advocacy;
-Access to a worker trained in crisis prevention and intervention;
-Assistance with short-term immediate needs;
-Access to activities;
-Support for self-advocacy;
-Access to health-related materials, such as condoms and pamphlets;
-Snacks and activities;
-Clothing and household items; and,
-Immediate support and facilitated access to emergency and crisis services.

Partners in the initiative include the Aboriginal People’s Alliance of Northern Ontario; Project Peace; Greater Sudbury Police Service; Sudbury and District Health Unit; Sudbury Action Centre for Youth; the Blue Door Café, and many volunteers.

@darrenmacd

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