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Bell Let’s Talk $20K grant boosts Blue Door peer support program

October 11, 2022
Posted: October 9th, 2022. By: NewmarketToday Staff., Original Article 
The program, delivered in partnership with the Krasman Centre, aims to improve the mental health of youth, adults and families experiencing homelessness

Blue Door is thrilled to receive a $20,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. This grant will go toward Blue Door’s Peer Support program delivered in partnership with the Krasman Centre to improve the mental health of youth, adults and families experiencing homelessness.

“Blue Door is so grateful for this support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, which will allow us to provide mental health supports through a peer support program to families, men and youth, that will ultimately help them in moving forward with a successful housing journey,” says Michael Braithwaite, Blue Door CEO.

While poor mental health can lead to homelessness, homelessness rapidly exacerbates mental health issues. Homelessness causes overwhelming mental stress from trying to meet even the most basic daily needs.

According to the recent Count: York Region’s 2021 Homeless Count report, 64 per cent of people facing homelessness in the York Region experience mental health issues. A widespread issue, poor mental health presents a significant barrier to finding and retaining housing.

To improve the mental health of people experiencing homelessness and thanks to the funding from Bell Let’s Talk, Blue Door will provide weekly group peer support sessions delivered by the Krasman Centre’s highly trained Peer Support Workers. The peer support group sessions will support the mental health of 50-75 vulnerable youth, adults and families who are staying at Blue Door’s emergency and transitional housing.

“The Krasman Centre is excited to be partnering with Blue Door to complement the crucial work they do in supporting people in our communities who are experiencing various adversities. Thanks to Bell Let’s Talk, this program will bring a range of recovery education group session offerings to people accessing Blue Door’s transitional and emergency housing, facilitated by trained Krasman Centre Peer Supporters,” says Susan Dobson, executive director at the Krasman Centre. “Together, we strive to inspire hope and resilience, utilizing a peer support-based approach to discuss topics including, but not limited to, experiences of mental health and wellness, substance use and harm reduction.”

With mental health outcomes comparable to or better than traditional mental health services, peer support is based on building authentic relationships through shared lived experiences. The peer support worker acts as a wiser older friend, neighbour, or aunt – that one person who understands and cares – building individuals’ confidence, boosting self-esteem, helping people and families find their way to living a healthy, fulfilling life.

Blue Door is always striving to provide lifesaving support to individuals facing homelessness. With this grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, Blue Door is excited to strengthen our Peer Support program to offer the best and most effective support for vulnerable individuals.

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to provide a $20,000 Community Fund grant for Blue Door’s Peer Support program to help youth, adults and families in York Region experiencing homelessness,” said Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports a wide range of organizations that are working on expanding access to mental health care for more Canadians in communities around the country.”

Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit this website.

To learn more about Blue Door’s commitment to supporting our community and making a long-lasting change, visit our website here.

About Blue Door

Since 1982,Blue Door has been serving the community and is now the largest emergency housing provider in all of York Region. Starting off as the first emergency housing provider in York Region for men, Blue Door rapidly expanded over the last 40 years to meet the ever-pressing needs of our community’s most vulnerable. By focusing on the root causes of homelessness and breaking down barriers to housing, health and meaningful employment, Blue Door has proudly become a leader in delivering dignified solutions and pathways out of homelessness and poverty.

Blue Door provides lifesaving support to individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness to attain and retain affordable housing. To achieve our vision of a region where everyone has safe, supportive, affordable, and stable housing, Blue Door provides emergency housing programs, the seasonal emergency housing program Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold, transitional/supportive housing, health supports, and Construct – A Social Enterprise by Blue Door.