Here is a brief list of services that we are able to provide (beside each item is the best person to contact for each service, however, do not hesitate to talk to the other members of the support team about these services as we share many of these responsibilities):
Active Listening- (Nic)
We provide active listening from an anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, client focused lens. If you would like to talk to someone who will actively listen to you, be compassionate to your life and your circumstances, and that will try to help you navigate through mental and physical health concerns please contact us. If what you are looking for is beyond our scope or you would like to find a Therapist or a Social Worker we will gladly help take on that search with you and will assist you in finding the best person to be on your journey alongside you.
Guelph housing rates have skyrocketed in the past few years and many of us have felt the strain of not being able to afford rent. We can assist in helping to find housing that is within your budget and getting you in contact with our county’s housing services to apply for their programming.
Ontario does not cover medication for people above 25 and below 65 years old. This means that people who do not have private medication coverage are often left to pay for medication out of pocket. Knowing how unacceptable this is we will work with you to get your medication covered. Usually this means applying to the Trillium Drug Plan which covers all of the medications that Ontario covers for people on OW and ODSP and at a rate that is geared to your income.
If you are having trouble getting to and from your medical appointments, or need some assistance in going to other services like the Guelph food bank or the Guelph Housing office downtown (to name a few) we can help you out. Below are some of the ways we can do that.
- $25 gas gift card (accessible once per month)
- Up to 10 bus tickets (accessible once per month)
- Arrange transportation (if given 1 weeks’ notice before your appointment)
Nutritional Support- (Mindy)
We might not have a food bank but we will always try to help out with food insecurity. If you need help accessing food please do not hesitate to ask us how you can get in contact and if we can help you get to a food bank. If that is not quite what you are looking for we also have:
- $10 gift cards to grocery stores (available once per month)
Financial Assistance- (Mindy)
If you are looking for assistance in budgeting or planning out how to make your finances work we are more than happy to have that conversation with you or find the supports that are best for your individual situation. We also have an Emergency Financial Assistance Fund that allows us to help out when folks are in a bind. Due to the specific requirements of our funding for that program there are some limitations to how much, and who, we are able to help out but if you are a person living with HIV in the Guelph-Wellington area we can usually assist people by paying bills up to $200 per fiscal year.
Advocacy and Case Management- (Nic/Mindy)
When it comes to things like housing, medication, mental health support, finances, and barriers to accessing food people rarely are dealing with one issue popping up at a time. We understand this and we will try to help your voice be heard within these systems while we help you navigate them. We assist in:
- Applying to ODSP/OW, or other government systems
- Accessing Legal Services
- Letter Writing
- Accompanying people to appointments (medical and non-medical)
We have a ton of events going on all year round. Below is just a small list of what goes on here:
- Peers in Motion (a quarterly outing to a cool seasonal event)
- Movie Night (a monthly get together at a local movie theatre)
- Client Educational Dinner (a yearly dinner with a guest speaker who comes in to talk about a special topic in mental health)
- Central West Opening Doors (a yearly conference around counselling and HIV where workers and peers come and learn from experts in specific fields)
- Massages (a monthly day where we have massage students come and provide free massages)
- ARCH BBQ (a yearly summer BBQ in Riverside Park)
- Holiday Party (a yearly holiday get together in early December with a catered meal and door prizes)
Nic Lepine - Support Services Coordinator
Phone: 519-763-2255 ext. 126
Mindy Brown - Practical Support Worker
Phone: 519-763-2255 ext. 153