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HomeBridge Youth Society Annual Report 2015 Fiscal Year April 1, 2014 - March 31, 2015

All youth & their families living in health, safety & harmony


As we approach the 2015 Annual General Meeting, our thoughts turn to reflection and gratitude for the services that we are able to provide to the youth at risk in our province. Our vision is:

All Youth and Their Families Living in Health, Safety and Harmony. When we reflect on how we accomplish this vision, we recognize that there are many facets that interconnect and one can not exist without the other. Our hearts go out to the youth we serve and it is for them that we all strive to do our best in whatever way we can to make a difference. I would like to try to thank many of you who are involved in supporting our vision. To our employees and management, we could not offer the programs and services that we do without you and your dedication to the youth. We believe in you and your ability to bring the best experiences to the youth in our charge, thank-you! To our expert partners, the Nova Scotia Departments of Community Services and Education, as well as our long standing benefactor St. Paul’s Home Board for the collaboration and support in providing our services, thank-you! To our donors and sponsors, corporate and individual, we provide the highest level of programming for our youth and you make these additional services possible, thank-you! To Marion Brown, PhD, in November 2014 a Framework for Practice for HomeBridge was published. This professional document brings together the foundational components that articulate the HomeBridge multidisciplinary approach to youth care. It serves as an orientation both internally and externally with employees, partners, and stakeholders connected to HomeBridge. Within this document you will learn about the underpinning best practices, collegiality, accountability, integrity, distinction, and rigour that is required when it comes to our high standard of commitment to serving young people and their families. To Linda Wilson, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment and thank Linda Wilson for her years of service with HomeBridge. Linda has been at the core of our organization’s transformation over the past 16 years. From securing important programs, personnel, and the Hawthorne renovation, Linda has given us a legacy of innovation in youth care and organizational leadership. Words are not enough to express our gratitude for all that Linda has done for HomeBridge. We will miss you, but we will take on the challenge to live up to your legacy and continue to build and grow HomeBridge into a greater organization. We wish Linda all the best as she moves on to the Executive Director role with Shelter Nova Scotia. A Huge Thank-you to Ernie Hilton. Ernie was there when we needed him most and took on the challenge of the Acting Executive Director with enthusiasm and no hesitation. We value Ernie’s Youth Care and leadership expertise. A Masters prepared, leading edge practitioner, Ernie has extensive management and leadership experience both inside and outside of HomeBridge. He has been published nationally and internationally and is an editor with the International Child and Youth Care Journal. Ernie further impacts the practice of Child and Youth Care as a member of curriculum advisory committees for Community College programs in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The Board continues to work with Ernie in this period of transition but we all have the same goal, and that is to build a stronger organization. To the Board, although we often don’t get to experience the daily lives of the youth in our care first hand, we do get to hear about tragedies/challenges, and some of the successes, from the management team. It is for those successes that we strive to provide a governance structure that works for the organization and continues to move the organization on a strong platform into the future. I am honoured to be associated with HomeBridge and look forward to 2016 and beyond. Respectfully, Deanna Severeyns, CA Board Chair


For the first and last time, we are writing the Executive Director’s Report together. What a year it has been. We focused on stabilization and evolution. HomeBridge is now in an envied position. Thanks to the Department of Community Services for funding both a Human Resource Manager and an Information Technology Manager; the people in those new positions have been implementing efficiencies and easing the day to day challenges of 135 people who work around the clock, across HRM in six sites. They are also involved in long term planning projects that will move HomeBridge to a higher and broader level of operation. Even the initial improvements permit more focused and proactive services for the young people who live with HomeBridge. The future is exciting. This progression also created the opportunity for new leadership positions to be created. Their focus is to ground the practical, educational, and therapeutic programming experiences of youth served. The Interdisciplinary Approach to Residential Youth Care is fully entrenched and was articulated this year in our Framework for Practice, researched and written by Dr. Marion Brown. The full document can be found on our website: We have learned from our IWK colleagues in the area of both Recreation Therapy and Mental Health and Addictions. Next phases of this work are unfolding across the organization and in all the facilities.

Linda Sitting in the Executive Director’s Chair you have the benefit of a very broad view. Watching all this come together, (sometimes seemingly in slow motion) I knew the time was right to move on. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together. In many ways I feel I worked myself out of a job. It is easy for me to see what the next focus should be, and my colleague Ernie Hilton has the insight, skill, and knowledge to make it happen. He can see it too.

Ernie We miss Linda, but she has left a clear path and the work to be done is obvious. The partnerships she has nurtured to benefit HomeBridge to better serve young people and their families have been a tremendous legacy to leave. Her insatiable desire to ensure a professional and ethical organization is reflective in the make-up of HomeBridge’s Board Members, Managers, and Employees. Linda and I have argued; is she leaving us or are we leaving her? While moving forward in Linda’s style is no longer plausible, as one can never step into the same stream twice, we will move forward attempting to emulate her leadership brilliance. We will assure you nothing will be lost, only enhanced, except for her regular presence. Nothing ever leaves us completely but it does change in form and this law of nature cannot be stopped. Like a new season sets in, already, new leaders are emerging, new planning is beginning, the excitement is returning, and to everyone connected to HomeBridge I say, “Buckle Up!” Respectfully submitted Linda Wilson MSW, RSW


Ernie Hilton MSc.CYCA

I knew the time was right to move on.

Nothing ever leaves us completely but it does change in form and this law of nature cannot be stopped.




Deanna Severeyns, CA – Chairperson Chief Administrative Officer Stewart McKelvey

Ron Campbell – Past Chair Vice-President, Human Resources Eastlink

Peter Wong, CA – Treasurer Chief Financial Officer Hercules SLR Inc. & Stellar Industrial Sales Ltd.


Michele Trider Manager RBC Main Branch Halifax

Tanya Ozard Broker/Realtor Oceancrest Realty Inc.

Deputy Chief Bill Moore Halifax Regional Police

Tony Mancini Partner Priority Management

Dale Gibbons Crisis Counsellor Byrony House

Dr. Normand Carrey Psychiatrist IWK Health Centre

Michelle McCann Associate Lawyer Stewart McKelvey

Lynda d’Entremont Past Supervisor, School Administration

Johneen Kelly Social Worker IWK Youth Forensic Services

David Olyer Olyer Consulting

Jennifer Palov Vice-President, Human Resources and Legal Bell Aliant Regional Communications


1st Armdale Scouts Group Acadian Seaplants Advent Gift Bag Program (St. Peter's Parish church groups) AECON All Points To Health Anonymous Deanna Archibald Pat Bannerman Bell & Grant Insurance Ltd. Melanie Bennett Bentley Group Sarah Biddulph & Family & Friends Bluteau Devenney & Company Robert & Patricia Boulton Dana Bowden Brightwood Golf & Country Club Ian Burgess Caledonia Junior High School Tammy Campbell Carey's Cake Creations Cynthia Carroll Dave Carter Casey Rodgers Chisholm Penny Barristers and Solicitors Chearle Photography Francine Chisholm CIBC Children's Foundation Colleen Clark Kim Clarke Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership Karen Clements Amber Collins-Grimmer Colonial Honda Community Dental Compass Pharmacies/Moffat's Pharmachoice Congregation of Notre Dame Visitation Province Centre Ann Marie Conrod Tracey Cooper Crossover Basketball CUPE Local 4471 Christina & Rod Dadford & Simpson DalCam Sanitation Solutions Dartmouth Dodge Dartmouth Learning Network Dartmouth Sportsplex Christopher Dawson & Ron Nugent Ronnie & Ronda Davison Melissa Demill Lynda d'Entremont Dulux Paints Jennifer Ells Natasha Fillmore Finbar's Irish Pub Flower Trends Florists Ken Foran Melanie Frost-Goyetche Thom Garfat Judy Gee Jessica George Dale Gibbons Goodlife Fitness Portland Street Shirley Graham Nicholas Graham and Wanda McDonald Diana Grcic Bill & Mary Greatorex Susan Grimes Noreen Guptill

H&E Keddy Brothers Ltd. Halifax Cornwallis Canadian Progress Club Halifax Rainmen Halifax Region Children's Aid Foundation Ernie Hilton Home Depot Foundation Rose Hopkins Jessica Horne Illusions Hair Salon Independence Beauty Centres Intact Insurance Casualty Team Investors Group Investors Group Matching Gift Program IODE Mary Lawson Chapter Audrey Ivany Sheri Joyce-Robinson Jumpstart Fitness Karma Performance Group Lesley-Ann Kean Cabrini Kelly Larex Properties Inc. Darlene Laybolt Alex LeBlanc Carol Lethbridge Gerald Lethbridge Mary Lewis Trish & Frank Lockington Long & McQuade Luke MacDonald & The Sparks Fly Program Bruce MacKinnon Heather MacPhee Susan MacRae Constable Denise MacKeen Tony Mancini Manespot Salon Allison McBridge Michelle McCann & Sam Austin Craig McDonald Ruth Meade Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club Constable Jason Mitchell Caroline Moore Lisa Jo Morin Mother's Pizza Mount Saint Vincent University, Curriculum Resource Centre Sara Napier & Familiy Nauss Bicycle Shop New Beginnings Ministries Diggory & Nan Nichols Sue Nickerson Noelle's Custom Cookies Darrell & Kate Nogler & White Nova Scotia Power Employees NSCC Waterfront Campus Trish O'Brien James Oyler John & Norma Oyler Tanya Ozard Palladium Family Restaurant Performance Quest Leadership Anna Plaskett Portland Physiotherapy Health & Wellness Centre Portland Street Honda Portland Street Superstore Premiere Entertainment Group Prince George Hotel

Props Floral Design Gord Pye RBC Foundation RBC Royal Bank (Group Advantage) RBC Royal Bank Tacoma Branch Lori Riley Jessica Romo Bill Rudolph Sackville Public Library Brian Sawlor & Sharon Fraser Dr. Matthias Scheffler Sabine Scheffler David Scholten Scotiabank Fall River Branch Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Deanna Severeyns Katherine Sharpe John Shelley Doug Shields Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park Sisters of Charity Centre Smart Smiles Dental Hygiene Pauline Smith John Smith St Paul's Home Starbucks (Pleasant St.) Renee Stevens Janet Stevenson Darren Stillman & Elizabeth Stuart StoneHearth Bakery StoneRidge Fellowship Baptist Church Success College SunSwirl Tanning Dartmouth Kathryn Swenson Cora Swinamer Meg Taylor Carla Taylor The Bike Pedaler The Co-operators (Beverly Barker Insurance Agency Inc.) The Gordon Foundation for Children and Youth The Printing House, Branch #054 The Running Room (Spring Garden Road) The Tada's Shane Theunissen Patsy Thompson Bruce & Judy Towler & Steele Michele Trider Patricia Vardy Cherie Vissers-Bowes Wendy Dunham Travel Sabrina White Linda Wilson Wine Kitz Dartmouth Peter Wong Ryan Wood & Tara Horne Jackie Woodford Wendy Woodford David Woodford Zee Medical Canada



Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1979 Owned by HomeBridge Youth Society Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate Hawthorne House is located in Dartmouth and serves six youth over 12 years of age.



Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1981 Owned by the Department of Community Services Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate Johnson House is located in Dartmouth and serves four youth over 12 years of age.



Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1982 Owned by St. Paul’s Home Board Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate Jubien House is located in Halifax and serves six youth over 12 years of age.



Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1993 Owned by St. Paul’s Home Board Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate Sullivan House is located in Halifax and serves six youth over 12 years of age.




Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1998 Owned by the Department of Community Services Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate The Reigh Allen Centre is located in Dartmouth and is licensed as a REIGH ALLEN CENTRE TEAM crisis and stabilization center. It provides service to male and female youth over 12 years of age who are in need of a stabilization, respite, or short-term placement. The center utilizes a inter-disciplinary approach to create opportunities for behavioral changes within a safe environment allowing young people to experience themselves differently.


Part of the HomeBridge Community since 2009 Located in the Reigh Allen Centre Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate A separate two-bed programming unit designed to serve youth 18-years-old and younger, living under exceptional circumstances.


Part of the HomeBridge Community since 2003 Owned by St. Paul’s Home Board Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate Cogswell House is located in Middle Sackville and serves four youth over 12 years of age.



The Bridges for Learning program (BFL) continued to enjoy success throughout the 2014-2015 school year. We received a total of 30 applications, a decrease from the 39 applications received in the previous year, and operating at full capacity for the majority of the school year. The triage system the team developed has proven to be an effective admission process as the students transition in and out of the program with a high level of efficiency. The youth who are most in need of an alternative school program are given priority with their admission, and an educational program is developed to meet their unique learning needs. The high school students continue to complete their studies through correspondence courses while being guided and supported by the Teacher and Youth Care Specialist in the classroom. The correspondence courses offer the ability for the educational plans to move with the student, so that achieving academic success is more attainable when transitioning out of BFL. The junior high students continued to receive educational packages from their respective community schools, with the team in BFL working closely with the schools in order to provide the students with the guidance and support needed for them to obtain success with their academics. The team was able to forge a partnership with the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) to allow a student to obtain her Oceans 11 credit. She completed part of her curriculum on site at BIO through hands on experience. This is a wonderful opportunity for the student to see future career opportunities in a real work environment. Five students from BFL also obtained their Level 1 First Aid Certificate with the assistance of the Youth Care Specialist in BFL who also happens to be a certified First Aid trainer. The group spent two full days on the training and really enjoyed it, while gaining a sense of accomplishment and acquiring a life skill that will assist in obtaining employment. As always, the students in BFL had the opportunity to participate in the Expressions Program of the Arts where they were provided with learning opportunities in Music and Art. There was an increase from last year in student participation in both of these programs. The students were also able to use some components of the Expressions program to attain academic credits in art and music. During first semester, the Recreation Therapist worked closely with the BFL team to develop and implement physical activities for the students. The recreation component of the program that the students participated in was transferred, for high school students, to a physical and active lifestyle credit and for the junior high students, to a physical education credit. The team in BFL continued to provide students with weekly Social and Emotional Learning curriculum. All students participated in the Tuesday morning sessions and could gain academic credit for their efforts. These credits included Health for junior high students and Learning Strategies for high school students. The Youth Care Specialist and Homebridge’s Psychologist collaborate to choose topics and activities that are the most beneficial to the students attending BFL. Together, they facilitate the program to allow for discussion, role-playing, debates, and developmental progression across many areas of social and emotional learning. This year, some topics covered included goal setting, motivation, listening skills, discrimination, and emotional and behavioural-triggers. Additionally, students were provided with five learning sessions facilitated by a Mental Health and Addictions Counselor. The skills and knowledge provided to the students through the Social and Emotional curriculum is hoped to assist them in their transition back to community schools, and in many future endeavors, including attaining employment, furthering their education, and maintaining healthy relationships. The BFL reporting system remains an integral component of the marking and communication process for all students. This is an online reporting system that is similar to Halifax Regional School Board’s power school, which provides access to daily reports on each youth’s progress to the youth care team in their home facility. The reports for each student that are tracked and developed from this system are outcome-monitored and evidence-based.



The Sparks Fly program helped HomeBridge secure a Spartan Self-Regulation Bike for the classroom towards the end of last year, and this continues to provide the students with an opportunity to incorporate physical activity and selfregulation while remaining in a structured classroom. Studies have indicated that students who have access to a physical activity in a learning environment are more likely to improve academically. Since the bike was brought into the classroom, the students have charted their distance and have almost made it to Ottawa, a distance of 1500 kilometers! In the first semester, the team in BFL noticed a marked increase in escalated and agitated behavior in the classroom. To this end, we recommended a review of the safety of the classroom environment to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our students and employees safe. As a preventative intervention, the team has been collaborating with the Leave Out Violence organization who will be coming into the classroom in September 2015 to work with youth and the team with the goal of creating a safe learning environment for all. The team continued to foster learning for incoming professionals by supporting several student placements from Mount Saint Vincent University. These experiences are always viewed as opportunities for reciprocal learning as the students bring their enthusiasm, new perspectives, and a commitment to learn. This past school year has been another extraordinary year that provided learning and growth for all the students. The students in the program have demonstrated their strength, resilience and potential to achieve.

BFL Applicants from Junior High and Senior High School September 2014 - June 2015

Academic Levels of BFL Students (Total 30) September 2014 - June 2015


Number of Students


30 Students Junior High (11)


Senior High (19)

15 10 5 0


Age and Gender of BFL Applicants September 2014 - June 2015










10 Age

5 0

Males Females 1

2 2

5 2

7 6

2 2

1 2

9 10 8 Grade Level



Total Referrals September 2014 - June 2015

Referrals (Total 30) September 2014 - June 2015 Halifax





Glace Bay


Cumberland Sackville












Granville Ferry







1 1

Kings Yarmouth Queens

DCS Agency


Total Referrals









COMMUNITY SCHOOLS CONNECTED TO BRIDGES FOR LEARNING Millwood High School Bicentennial Junior High School Dartmouth High School Prince Arthur Junior High School Cunard Junior High School J.L. Ilsley High School Citadel High School Eastern Passage Consolidated School Prince Andrew Junior High School


For ten years this program has been offering young people in the HomeBridge Community the opportunity to discover new talents, channel their creativity, and broaden their experience. The team took inspiration from Albert Einstein for this year’s theme. His famous line, “Creativity is Contagious, Pass it on!” is what guided our programming in Art, Music Therapy, and Circus Skills. This theme even inspired us to kick off the program a little differently this year. Instead of starting right into specific classes as we have in previous years, the team hosted “sampling parties” to start things off. All youth were invited to these weekly events where our three regular facilitators had stations set up to sample each discipline that is offered through the Expressions program. This really created a safe and welcoming environment for the young people to “check out” what is offered and meet the facilitators. As a result of the circumstances that bring them to be in care, the youth served in the HomeBridge Community are often reluctant to try new things. Low self-esteem and fear of failure can hold them back. Having this fun and casual opportunity to sample or even observe what is offered in the individual sessions, we hoped would remove some of the anxiety associated with trying something new.


The Music Therapy program offered a variety of 1:1 and group musical experiences to the youth again this year. In celebration of our theme, youth had the opportunity to showcase and “pass on” their musical skills throughout the year at various events including open mic nights, group jam sessions, and the Holiday Coffee House. The group jam sessions held at the Reigh Allen Centre were a great venue to bring all interested youth throughout the HomeBridge Community together with employees and the Expressions facilitators to “hang out” and build stronger relationships while showcasing their new found talents and skills in a safe and supportive environment. As always new talents were discovered throughout the year and positive relationships were formed. The facilitators say that some of their favorite moments were the simplest ones, like having the Sullivan House residents say “thank you so much for singing with me,” “I had so much fun. I love singing.” and enjoying “Ukelele Jam Nights” at Jubien House. The creativity was also flowing in the Art Classes. The Expressions facilitators brought music and art together by making colourful gourd shakers with the youth and learning to play ‘bucket drums’ that they decorated as well. Classes also covered a wide range of activities from shaving cream marble art, melted crayons, to wood burning. Using many different mediums such as pastels, paint, clay, crayons, and markers, the youth experimented expressing themselves on canvas, paper, plastic, wood, ceramics, and flowerpots. Several collaborative art projects were attempted with the youth sharing their ideas and coming together to create magnificent pieces of art. This program is entirely made possible through the support of generous donors, so we would like to thank those supporters who have created this opportunity for the young people. The Expressions program has an incredibly positive impact on the young people who participate and this would not be possible without community support.

I learned that it’s important to do what you are supposed to do and follow through. HomeBridge Youth

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR EXPRESSIONS DONORS RBC Financial Group through the RBC Foundation Clearwater Fine Foods Ltd. CIBC Children’s Foundation Investors Group Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis Performance Quest Leadership Bluteau DeVenney & Company

Expressions Team


Individual Youth Served during 2014/2015 94 Total


Total Female (40)


Total Male (54)

94 individual youth were served during 2014/2015; however, there were 149 total youth admissions to all facilities, which includes a number of youth who had multiple admissions and were served by more than one HomeBridge facility.

Youth Care Workers help me by being nice to me and taking time for me. HomeBridge Youth

Individual Youth per Department of Community Services Region or Child Welfare Agency Residing in Facilities - 94 Total 7% 11%

Central Region (37 Individuals) Western Region (26 Individuals)



Northern Region (14 Individuals) Mi'Kmaw Family and Children Services (10 Individuals)


Eastern Region (7 Individuals)

Average Length of Stay in Residential Care - Long Term Homes 350




250 200 150 100

205 176


Sullivan House 188

Johnson House Hawthorne House Jubien House Cogswell House

50 0

HomeBridge Youth Society Facilities/Program


Average Length of Stay Requiring Emergency Stabilization


Reigh Allen Centre Females Reigh Allen Centre Males


Bridges For Learning Team 0









Facility Placements of Youth from Outside the Central Region 47 total Individuals



Reigh Allen Centre (23) Long Term Facilities (24)

Maintenance, Kitchen and Admin Team

Managment Team

I learned how to cook and what true friendship is. HomeBridge Youth


This year the young people have participated in three separate Service Learning Projects. Service Learning is an educational approach that provides the youth with a balance of formal instruction and direction with the opportunity to serve in the community in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience. Service Learning projects this year included: the 4th annual Youth Farmer’s Market, a Craft Sale during the Holiday Coffee House to raise money for Hope for Wildlife, and a new project called Loonie Friday, which is connected to the food handling and basic cooking skills that are part of life-skill programming. The youth cook a meal for the employees at the Reigh Allen Centre once a week to raise money for charity. These projects provide the youth with realistic life experiences and an opportunity to give back to their community. The Youth Farmer’s Market is based on the premise of running an entrepreneurial business for a week. We were fortunate to be funded by the Youth Development Initiative and to partner with Dartmouth’s Senior’s Service Center for the third year in a row on this project. These community partners made it possible for the youth to not only gain valuable entrepreneurial and employability experience, but to grow in all four areas of HomeBridge Youth Society’s Care Planning Framework. These areas come from the Circle of Courage and include: mastery, belonging, independence, and generosity. The first day of the Farmer’s Market project was an interview and orientation process. Once the team was selected, the youth learned about marketing, advertising, and profit margins. The next stage of the project involved a bus trip to the Valley to pick produce for the sales. This year we also included a buying expedition. The youth were responsible for visiting individual farmer’s markets and negotiating the purchase of additional produce at wholesale prices. They also had to study their perspective customers’ needs to determine what items would sell and if a profit could be made based on the wholesale price. It is important to note that as a result of this extra work there was very little produce left over after the sale. As in previous years the youth were responsible for running two different markets. One not-for-profit Dartmouth Senior’s Market and a second for-profit Farmer’s Market for the community. The seniors were very excited to see the youth led market return again this year. They reminisced with the youth about past years experiences making the youth feel very welcomed and appreciated. The senior’s made comments regarding how polite and hard working the young people were, and how they loved the effort that went into the displays and signage. This group of youth put a tremendous effort into advertising; spending many evenings leading up to the community sale distributing flyers in the community. Their customer service skills were fantastic and as stated earlier, they came close to selling out of produce. The community market also included a BBQ where they sold hotdogs, hamburgers, and pop. One of the youth identified that a man standing off to the side looked hungry and possibly unable to afford to purchase a BBQ item. The youth all agreed they would make him up a plate free of charge. During the debriefing after the sale the youth talked about how positive it felt to be in a position to be generous and helpful. They were all very proud of the skills that they learned and their employment performance. This year’s second Service Learning Project involved raising money for Hope for Wildlife. Throughout the year the youth had been visiting Hope for wildlife learning about the organization and visiting the animals. These outings created a lot of empathy amongst the group. After each visit the conversation would lead to discussions on how they could help. Leading up to our Holiday Coffee House and Craft Sale, the youth created animal themed tree decorations. They had made other items to sell for profit during this event; however, they wanted the profits of these particular decorations to be donated to Hope for Wildlife. Interested HomeBridge employees were offered the opportunity to purchase a personalized tree decoration featuring their favorite pet. The campaign was very last minute so not a huge amount of money was raised, but the youth felt very proud when they presented the funds to the organization during their January visit. Loonie Friday was also started this year. In recent years there has been a lot of emphasis on providing youth with the opportunity to develop healthy living skills. Learning how to plan and prepare healthy meals is pivotal to developing independence. The youth have learned to master many complex cooking methods. Friday mornings are spent preparing a meal that is shared with many throughout the HomeBridge Community. Mastery, belonging, independence, and generosity are exemplified through this cooking program.


Since this program was already a great success, we decided to capitalize on the generosity aspect of the program and offer the youth an opportunity to once again give back to their community. Food Friday, which the program was affectionately nicknamed by the patrons recently went “Loonie”. Now every Friday the youth collect a loonie from their happy customers who take part in the meal. Every six months the youth will decide what organization they want to receive the donation. This enhancement has brought a whole new level of responsibility and pride to the participants. Health enhancing activities such as Tai Chi, Meditation, Music Therapy, Art Education, HeartMath, and Aromatherapy continue to be promoted with the youth. They are ingrained in our organizational culture and are well accepted by the youth. In keeping with this progression, the second stage of our Tai Chi program is now taking place. The employees who were trained in Tai Chi are working with other Youth Care Workers and the youth to make Tai Chi a regular part of our programs. Each facility has a Tai Chi/Healthy Living Box, which is full of resources to help with stress reduction and encourage relaxation. Our goal is to provide youth with healthy alternatives as a way to cope and enhance their lives. The hope is that they will continue to seek out healthy living choices as they move on from our care. This is the fifth year partnering with ALATEEN. This program provides the youth with education and coping skills when having to deal with alcohol misuse in their environments. Marlene Lecky and Beverly Gillis continue to devote their time to the youth who reside in HomeBridge Community. The youth appreciate their dedication and look forward to attending this program on a biweekly basis. Programs offered at HomeBridge are to assist the youth in developing skills to enhance their lives both now and in the future. Please see below for a more complete list of the programs offered.

Entrepreneurial and Service Learning YWCA Discovering Life Skills What Have I Done? A Victim Empathy Program for Young People ART Aggression Replacement Training MAPSTARS Conflict Resolution – Bully Prevention Program The Six Pillars of Character Development (trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship) Drug and Alcohol Awareness Smoking Cessation Healthy Relationships Sexual Health Cultural Awareness Caring for Your Body (hygiene/puberty) Discovering Food (Nutrition and Culinary Skills) Self-esteem Recreation and Leisure Development Communication Skills Assertiveness Peer Pressure Understanding Your Emotions Visual Arts Music Circus Skills Development (unicycling, juggling, tight rope, flower Sticks etc) Yoga Aromatherapy Tai Chi HeartMath

Respectfully Submitted Shelley Teal HomeBridge Youth Program Coordinator Dr T.C.M., Dr. A.C., R. AC


One of the things that make the HomeBridge community a therapeutic environment for young people to live is that our long-term facilities are located in “typical” neighbourhoods with “typical” family homes. This helps to create a sense of normalcy in the lives of the young people who reside there. These young people need a great deal of community support to move beyond their current circumstance and on to productive futures, but we understand this sometimes creates challenges for our neighbours. We at HomeBridge take the responsibility of being good neighbours very seriously and work hard to keep the lines of communication open and to be contributing members of the community. Every year we produce a Report to the Community and hand deliver it to our neighbours to keep them updated on the happenings in and around the HomeBridge Community. We truly value these opportunities to connect with members of the community and to hear from them as we educate them on the realities of our work. We also look forward to getting back to our community clean-ups this year. This was an initiative that was started by HomeBridge’s Environmental Committee seven years ago and we have completed seven clean-ups in neighbourhoods surrounding our facilities in the years since. This is one way that we try to show our appreciation for the acceptance and support shown by our neighbours. Our youth and employees hit the streets with garbage and recycling bags in hand and dedicate their time and energy into making the neighbourhood cleaner and greener. We also build positive relationships between community members and the residents during these events. All of this helps the young people to find a sense of connection to their community and a sense of belonging and generousity.


As a charity, we at HomeBridge are very grateful for all the support we receive and therefore believe in “paying it forward” whenever we can. Three HomeBridge Employees were honoured this year by the International Child and Youth Care Network (CYCNet). The three teamed up to share their fundraising expertise in the form of an online auction that wrapped up at the National Child and Youth Care Conference in October. Their efforts raised over $9,000 for CYC-Net, which is an international resource for the field of Child and Youth Care. The non-profit, public benefit organization is based out of South Africa and used as an invaluable resource by child and youth care practitioners around the world. The CYC-Net is a resource that HomeBridge employees and many others use to keep up on the latest in their field and also as a venue to share what they have learned. The work done in this field is incredibly sensitive and important; therefore, this resource is an absolute gift. CYC-Net Chairperson, Dr. Leon Fulcher, publicly acknowledged HomeBridge’s contribution during the closing banquet for the conference and presented those involved with certificates of appreciation. HomeBridge employees have been supporting CYC-Net for years through payroll deduction and have been recognized once before as their largest contributors to the organization. We are proud of our employees and HomeBridge's connection to this incredible organization.


Thanks to support from the IWK CHOICES Program and the Department of Health and Wellness, HomeBridge had a full-time Recreation Therapist for a 12 month period, which ended in January 2015. During this time we developed and piloted the LIFT (Learning Important Future Tools) Program. This program was designed to create meaningful recreation plans for each young person in the HomeBridge Community as a way to prevent or reduce the use of substances while increasing the protective factors associated with developing resiliency. As a result of the circumstances that bring youth to be in care, they often need extra support and encouragement to become involved in these physical/therapeutic activities, even if there is no financial cost to the activity. Low self-esteem and fear of failure, judgment and rejection hold them back. The LIFT program provided young people with one-on-one support to accompany them to activities and get involved. This program made existing services accessible to at-risk youth by removing barriers. Having someone “brave” the activity with the young person and having the transportation to get them there greatly increased youth participation in therapeutic and recreational activities that improve their overall health and wellness. In fact, we were able to add hundreds of hours of extra activities to our regular programming in the HomeBridge Community as a result of this program. In the year that HomeBridge piloted this program there were road trips to Magic Mountain, Ontree Adventure Park, and Upper Clements Park; young people hiked, biked and explored their own communities; they participated in organized sports and other group programs; and equipment was purchased to keep them active and help them explore their interests. Many young people tried things for the very first time through this program and some even found a new hobby or lifelong interest. With the continued support of the Department of Health and Wellness we are now evaluating the pilot program and making plans to make it part of our regular therapeutic programming on a go forward basis.

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HomeBridge continues to be supported by the IWK Health Centre as part of their outreach strategy. A Mental Health and Addictions Counselor from CHOICES, the IWK’s adolescent addictions program is now in his second year of part-time work in the HomeBridge Community. The counselor provides guidance to both the youth we serve and our youth care teams as they develop intervention strategies together to help decrease the severity of substance misuse. This partnership has added to the expertise in the HomeBridge Community and has helped us greatly in our efforts to provide the best services possible for youth-in-care.


Abbey, Jessica Adams, Amanda Alamin, Yesir Aucoin, Matthew Baksh, Marcus Bartlett, Robert Beals, Carlos Belliveau, Dawn Best, David Biddulph, Sarah Blanchard, Jessica Boomer, Shawn Boucher, Allan Boudreau, Michael Boutilier, Ryan Bowers, Andrea Boyce, Jamie Brewer, Margaret Campbell, Lauren Campbell, Teri-Lynn Carter, David Carver, Tara Chisholm, Alana Clark, Colleen Close, Melissa Colledge, Kari Colley, Raylene Cooper, Alysia Corbett, Michelle Crooks, Melissa Cruickshanks, Darlene Dacey, Keira Dakin, Heidi Davies, Angela Davis, Leslie Delaney, Jennifer Denton, Rebecca D'Eon, Lloyd Deyoung, Geneveieve Dixon, Nike Downie, Evelyn Driscoll, Theresa Dumais, Lucie Durnford, Conrad

Edwards, Jacqueline Fenerty, Lindsay Findlay, Brittany Foran, Kevin Fournier, Tina Fraser, Katrina Frost-Goyetche, Melanie Lyn Gallant, Lisa Dianne Gardiner, Eric Gass, Amanda Gibbs, Ashley Goulden-Ross, Lisa Graves, Sarah Grcic, Andrew Grcic, Diana Ann Hendsbee, Shana Higgins, Kim Hilton, Ernie Hines, Judy Horne, Tara Jordan, Alice Kaulbach, Jenna Kay, Melissa Kelly, Jillian Kettle, Lana Labelle, Mandee Lafosse, Michelle Langille, Edward Laite, Ryan LeBlanc, Alexandra Leblanc, Tammy Leedham, Elizabeth Leil, Kelley Lethbridge, Carol Lunn, Catherine Maccormick, Roderick MacDonald, Aaron MacDonald, Brennagh MacDonald, Catherine MacDougall, Joanne MacEachern, Christina Macfarlane, William MacInnis, Greg MacMillan, Thomas Macnutt, Matthew MacSwain, Joy Marmulak, Troy Marshall, Leigh Matthews, Jason McDuff, Tylor McLeod, Todd Meade, Ruth Moore, Caroline Moore, Jeannette Morin, Lisa Murphy, Jan

Nadeau, Danielle Naugle, Neil Nameth, Mieke Nicolaou, Kim Nogler, Darrell Nordin, Jillian O'Brien, Trish O'Handley, Darren O'Hara, Jasmine Palmer, Jacqueline Parfitt, Lindsay Parsons, Lynn Pickrem, Charlene Poirier, Jaylene Porter, Rebecca Pulsifer, Bernard Purdy, Morgan Pyke, Janet Rankin, Catherine Rathwell, James Richey, Mike Robertson, Nicole Ross, Goulden Ross, Lisa Sala, Lisa Scallion, Kelly Scholten, David Selim Omar, Aziza Shaw, Tanya Simmons, Kris Smith, Jody Smith, John Sponagle, Darryl Stevens, Renee Stevenson, Marian Stundon, Waddell J. Swaine, Karen Tapp, Brodie Taylor, Meghan Taylor, Melissa Taylor, Terrence Teal, Shelley Theunissen, Shane Thompson, Patsy Tompkins, Alicia Trevors, Erin Veniott, Karla Vissers-Bowes, Cherie White, Amber White, Sabrina Whitman, Cecilia Wilson, John Wilson, Linda Wood, Ryan Woodford, Jackie Zinck, Dylan


It is through the generosity of many that we at HomeBridge can do the good work we do therefore we feel it is important for us to give back as well. Sharing our knowledge and expertise and helping to shape the professionals of tomorrow is one of the many ways that we try to achieve this. The organization offered placements to 21 students looking to gain some front line experience. Each student was matched with a HomeBridge Student Field Advisor to guide them on their educational journey and ensure that their individual learning objectives were met. As always, we take great pleasure in offering learning experiences for aspiring new professionals as they take their theory out of the classroom and put it into practice. The students came from the following educational institutions and programs: Dalhousie School of Social Work Nova Scotia Community College, Waterfront Campus Nova Scotia Community College, Truro Campus New Brunswick Community College, Miramichi Campus Holland College Mount Saint Vincent University, Child and Youth Care Success College HomeBridge employees also contributed their time and talents by sitting on the following Boards and Committees outside of the organization: Relational Child and Youth Care Practice Journal Board Curriculum Advisory Board: Holland College Child & Youth Care Worker Program International Child & Youth Care Network Board Nova Scotia Council for the Family Board Gordon Foundation for Children and Youth Board Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team Community Advisory Committee. Memberships: Project Management Institute, Nova Scotia Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nova Scotia Chapter Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia (ICANS) CPA Canada (Chartered Professional Accountants) Nova Scotia Child and Youth Care Workers Association The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) The Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS)


Our practice at HomeBridge is constantly evolving to best serve the needs of the youth and their families. This involves researching the latest practices for therapeutic programming and a constant commitment to professional development for all employees. This year employees have been involved in the following educational opportunities to keep our knowledge current and be the best professionals we can be:

EXTERNAL TRAINING “Tides of Change” National Child and Youth Care Conference Jack Hirose & Associates Treating Adults and Teens with Addiction Problems Nova Scotia Child and Youth Care Association Getting the Dope on Dope IWK Health Centre Understanding and Effectively Managing Aggressive/Impulsivity in Youth Saint Mary’s University Project Management for the Project Associate – Certificate Vincent Consulting PMI Certification Exam Prep Dr. Thom Garfat Employee Supervision Nova Scotia Council for the Family In the Loop Nova Scotia Sea School Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium Dalhousie University Personal Leadership: Leading the Self Before Leading Others Mount Saint Vincent University Tedx Talk Traincan – the Source for Food Safety Basics - fst – Food Safety Training in Canada Compass Pharmacies / Moffatt’s PharmaChoice Medication Awareness Training Performance Quest Leadership Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Saint Mary’s University Executive & Professional Development Grammar, Punctuation, and Proofreading Boot Camp Canadian Evaluation Society – Nova Scotia Chapter Outcome Mapping

I love cooking. It’s my thing. HomeBridge Youth


EXTERNAL TRAINING (continued) Child Welfare League of Canada Promising Developments with Outcome Based Service Delivery Health Association Nova Scotia Labour Relations Regional Education Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals A crash Course on Social Donor Management Third Party Events CPA Canada Emotional Intelligence: Success from the Inside Out ICANS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia) Energize your Workplace – How Inspiring Leaders Wake People Risk & Control Workshop for Not for Profit Organizations

INTERNAL TRAINING Student Advisor Training Transform Action – The Therapeutic Use of Daily Life Events Non-Violent Crisis Intervention: Trauma Informed Care Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Non-violent Crisis Intervention, Enhanced Verbal Skills: Applications of Life Space Crisis, and Advanced Physical Techniques Mental Health First Aid - Adults Who Interact with Youth Provincial Child Abuse Protocol Training Policy 49 – Management of Harmful Behaviour Policy Safety Oriented First Aid Fire Safety Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHIMIS)

HomeBridge has helped me deal with my anger. HomeBridge Youth


HomeBridge has been very fortunate to have community partners help us in our efforts to provide as many positive opportunities and experiences as possible for the young people who reside in the HomeBridge Community. Three public events took place this year that raised money and awareness thanks to our generous supporters. Home Depot Canada’s “Orange Door Project” has a goal of providing vulnerable youth with the housing, support, and hope they need to live safe, healthy, and productive lives. The in-store campaign was the first step in this project. Home Depot customers were able to purchase a “paper door” for $2 at the checkout while shopping in store. All proceeds from the Dartmouth Crossing Home Depot benefited HomeBridge and their team did an incredible job of being champions for HomeBridge and the overall campaign. The organizers of the Zombie Trail Run also invited us to be part of their event at McDonald’s Sports Park in Waverley. During the run HomeBridge employees and our friends at Scotiabank Fall River Branch were busy selling 50/50 tickets and hosting a charity barbeque. The event organizers, especially Ron Nugent and Christopher Dawson, did a fantastic job of promoting HomeBridge and encouraging people to buy 50/50 tickets and take part in the barbeque. The huge crowd that turned out for the run were very generous with their support helped to make the day a big success. The funds raised from both of these events supported the LIFT (Learning Important Future Skills) Program. This program focuses on creating positive opportunities for the youth by getting them involved in sports and recreation and community activities. HomeBridge also once again put on Ha Ha’s for HomeBridge. Thanks to our partners, Premiere Entertainment Group (who put on Halifax Comedy Fest) and the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club, for donating the talent and the venue for this comedy night event. Every cent brought in from ticket sales went directly to the Expressions Program of the Arts. Our hilarious comedians Mike Delamont, Ophira Eisenberg, and Angelo Tsarouchas literally had people laughing out loud throughout the entire night. This was the third year for this event and some of our guests haven’t missed a year yet. Thank you to all of our community partners and supporters. We truly couldn’t do the work we do without all of your support.


Discovering Food Program .............................................................................................................................. $ 1,000 Youth Development Initiative (YDI) Farmer’s Market Grant ....................................................................... $ 1,450 General Donations ........................................................................................................................................... $ 3,130 Ha Ha’s Comedy Nights .................................................................................................................................. $ 3,896 Miscellaneous fundraisers (Peeler cards, Zombie run) ................................................................................. $ 4,595 Online Auction 2014 ......................................................................................................................................... $ 7,786 Holidays of Hope fundraiser (Including St. Paul’s Christmas for Youth) ...................................................... $ 9,252 L.I.F.T. Program .................................................................................................................................................. $ 22,628 Expressions Program of the Arts ...................................................................................................................... $ 26,400 Recreation Funding Grant (Department of Health and Wellness – Mental Health) ................................ $ 35,000 Bridges For Learning (Department of Education grant) .............................................................................. $ 70,000 HomeBridge received/fundraised over $185,000 in fiscal 2014/2015





$6,466,235 1,087,593 333,367 10,135 3,130

$6,466,235 1,216,528 -

$6,067,627 1,082,714 9,309 1,722




6,536,282 333,367 147,189 137,051 116,328 86,590 62,697 55,550 50,794 47,149 45,583 35,232 34,274 28,247 22,321 11,575 11,388 5,997 3,499 1,514 .

7,037,370 155,001 87,900 38,249 82,601 32,810 23,200 37,001 39,500 40,500 26,100 14,619 14,213 23,999 11,999 8,701 4,000 5,000 -

6,187,904 155,202 99,354 112,669 90,976 33,195 30,545 39,953 50,723 41,719 31,138 28,909 38,613 26,151 11,630 12,216 4,973 1,681 1,043 242

Total Expenses




Net Income (loss)




Grants Per diem (occupancy) Retroactive monies Investment income Donations

Wages & benefits Retroactive wages & benefits Food Repair & maintenance Office Light, Power, Cable Professional services fees Staff Training Travel Fuel Insurance Household & cleaning supplies Youth Life Skills Programming Household furnishings Telephone Water Pharmacy Property Taxes Psychological testing materials Board development Rent

$ -

For a copy of HomeBridge Youth Society's audited financial statements please contact Colleen Clark, CA, HomeBridge Director of Finance at 902.466.1439 x 224 or


VISION All youth and their families living in Health, Safety and Harmony.

MANDATE Using an inter-disciplinary approach to youth care, HomeBridge provides youth with experiences of stabilization, emergency placement, therapeutic programming, educational opportunities, and longer-term residential interventions. This mandate is achieved through a collaboration with stakeholders, a community orientation, a commitment to youth education, continued professional development, implementation of current evidence based interventions, and therapeutic programming.

We would like the neighbours to know about our past and that we are “normal people”. We’d like to be able to sit down with them and tell them about who we are and where we’ve come from so they have a better understanding rather than judge us because we live in a group home. HomeBridge Youth

OUR BENEFACTORS AND SUPPORTERS Cornerstone Partners - Department of Community Services, Department of Education, and St. Paul’s Home Board Government Agency Support - Department of Justice, Youth Development Initiative, and the Department of Health and Wellness Expressions Program of the Arts Donors - RBC Foundation, Clearwater Fine Foods Ltd, Bluteau DeVenney & Company, CIBC Children’s Foundation, Investors Group, Halifax-Cornwallis Progress Club, and Performance Quest Leadership Community Supporters - IWK Health Centre – CHOICES Program, Nova Scotia Community College, Halifax Regional Police, MICCO Companies Ltd, Tammy Campbell and Investors Group Colleagues, Trade Centre Limited, Halifax Rainmen, Community Justice Society, Zombie Trial Run organizers and Scotiabank Fall River Branch, HRM Libraries, Premiere Entertainment Group, Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club, and the Congregation of Notre Dame Visitation Province Centre.

2015 HomeBridge Annual Report  
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