Winnipeg youth-based organization expands Street Outreach Drop-In program

Winnipeg , Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thanks to a grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, a Winnipeg agency that works to help youth who live on the streets has delivered a 39% increase in new clients.

And that is just one of more than 700 community groups whose programs have been enhanced by funds from Bell Let’s Talk.

With its 2017 community fund grant, Winnipeg-based Resource Assistance for Youth, Inc. (RaY) hired an Access/Outreach Worker and extended the hours of its Street Outreach Drop-In facility, enabling them to significantly enhance their services.

“The Access/Outreach Worker, alongside the Street Outreach Coordinator and the Drop-In program, has had a positive impact on many individuals by providing them with a safe space, connecting them to resources, and sometimes simply demonstrating that they care about them,” says Kelly Holmes, RaY’s Executive Director. “For street-entrenched individuals who often express feelings of isolation or helplessness, these seemingly small actions can have a hugely positive effect.”

Nationally recognized, RaY is an award-winning, street-level non-profit organization located in the inner city of Winnipeg. For more than 20 years, its staff have been working with street entrenched and marginalized youth up to the age of 29, providing them with what they need, on their terms, to better their lives. RaY provides a full continuum of services ranging from basic needs and housing to mental health and addictions support and everything in between. A non-partisan, non-judgmental agency, RaY employs a harm-reduction approach to all interactions with youth.

The Bell grant was part of the annual disbursement of Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grants of $5,000 to $25,000 in support of grassroots local projects that improve access to mental health care, supports and services for people in Canada. Now making available $2 million a year, the Fund will begin accepting applications for the next round of grants in mid-January. To learn more about RaY, please visit rayinc.ca.