In 2016, we developed and presented our 2016–2020 strategic plan. To best facilitate this process, we conducted a thorough examination of our services and analyzed the needs of the young population we serve in order to determine the most impactful actions to take in the years to come. The plan was adopted by the Board of Directors on April 4, 2016. The plan stresses the importance of
youth empowerment and our commitment to fighting youth homelessness.
TWO MAJOR STEPS FORWARD TAKEN IN 2016 ARE ALREADY HELPING US MAKE PROGRESS ON BOTH FRONTS.
First, backed by the support of our generous donors, we expanded our scholarship fund and our employment programs, both of which are essential to the social and professional integration of homeless and at-risk youth. As a result, we are now lending a helping hand to more than 50 students and are continuing to reach out to employers in the Montreal area to develop additional work and job training opportunities.
Secondly, the official launch of the ACCESS Open Minds-RIPAJ project marks a significant change in how homeless and at-risk youth in Montreal will access appropriate mental health care services. The goal is to facilitate rapid access to mental health professionals for participant youth, while also providing all other required wrap-around supports, unique to each youth’s needs. These actions will help to break the vicious cycle of homelessness and mental illness. By strengthening our partnerships and broadening our existing practices, we are doing more than ever to help reduce and prevent youth homelessness.
The past year also saw the creation and implementation of new communication tools to help us better keep in touch with our donors and communicate our message to the community at large. The website was revamped and relaunched in June 2016. Our Facebook page continues to attract more and more visitors and soon our newsletters will be available in digital format. We would like to sincerely thank our donors, partners, friends, and volunteers for your many gifts. Together, we will continue to go the extra mile for our youth.
PAUL J. SETLAKWE