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mosaic news Fall/Winter 2019

Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2019 edition of Mosaic News, Sherbourne Health’s newsletter. Subscribe to receive biannual updates on our diverse programs and services.

Sherbourne hosts ‘A Night at the Theatre’ fundraiser for newcomer health Caring for refugees and newcomers through programs, groups, and supports is central to what we do. We inspire holistic health, build knowledge and leadership skills, and develop a vibrant community through initiatives like health promotion and wellness groups, peer development projects and SOY Express. On May 23rd, Sherbourne hosted ‘A Night at the Theatre’ event to raise funds and support for our newcomer health programs at Sherbourne. (Continued on page 2)

in this issue 2

‘A Night at the Theatre’ for newcomer health


Volunteer Spotlight / Holiday giving in the workplace


Navigating life with SOY’s GPS / SOY hosts 20 year celebration!


SOY Bowlathon 2018 / 3rd Give Thanks, With Love pie campaign


Healthy approach to newcomer settlement / Harm reduction update


St. James Town Festival 2018/ Save the date: theatre fundraiser


World Hepatitis Day 2018 event / RHO at the AFHTO conference

A note from the President & CEO... Time flies when you’re having fun...and 2018 has simply flown by! This summer we launched a four-year Strategic Plan: The Next Wave, with our new name, Sherbourne Health, and an invigorated visual identity. Together they help us boldly stand out as a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness. I hope you enjoy this Fall/Winter issue, where we highlight the past six months, and share news about program developments that will expand access for newcomers to Canada and LGBT2SQ youth and young people, and ways to support Sherbourne as we forge new paths and create ways to serve our communities. – Hazelle Palmer, President & CEO, Sherbourne Health

Sherbourne’s ‘A Night at the Theatre’ fundraiser continued...

[From left] Guests enjoy a pre-show cocktail reception; Newcomer Nour Al Mhamed shares about her experience coming to Canada, with interpretation support by Anas Ameen; Community Ambassador Deeksha Guptha highlights Sherbourne’s role in her settlement within Canada and her community.

Over 150 guests from the Sherbourne community came together at the Royal Alexandra Theatre to celebrate the kindness and welcoming spirit offered to newcomers at Sherbourne in a pre-show reception. Guests then took in a magical performance, while being whisked away to Gander, Newfoundland in the acclaimed musical Come From Away. The special event raised a total of $19,000 towards the health and wellness of newcomers in our community. Additional support was provided by corporate row sponsors Deloitte, Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Dentons, and event sponsors, including Meridian Credit Union, Air Canada and Aura by Cashew & Clive. Like the folks in Gander, Sherbourne warmly welcomes everyone. We’re an open community, where our newcomer clients come from near and far and experience kindness in our care. We meet people where they are, and help them shape their path to wellness through community


programs, one-to-one support and outreach. Through our generous event supporters, we’re able to improve health, build capacities, and foster community and inclusion for newly arrived people in our community. Sherbourne has supported different ‘waves’ of refugees into Canada, including the Tamil, Syrian and Chechen communities. We were part of the city-wide primary care response for Syrian newcomers, ensuring that settlement, mental health, interpretation and childcare supports were available onsite during special clinics. Our newcomer health team also provides primary and mental health and diabetes care in St. James Town, which is home to significant newcomer and visible minority populations, through a satellite clinic at the Community Corner. The team also works with resident community ambassadors to promote healthcare campaigns, and leads a collaborative called Health Access St. James Town, a partnership of 17 health and social service organizations.

volunteer spotlight

Matt is a long-standing volunteer with SOY, filling the role of mentor and providing guidance and support in the mentorship program and Monday Night Drop-In. Matt was first matched with his youth mentee in January 2012, and since then, has continued to meet with them regularly for coffee or a meal to talk about their daily lives. They also sometimes go on photo-taking adventures which they have dubbed ‘photo safaris.’ He also supports the Monday Night Drop-In a few times a month. “I’m there to make myself available for conversation and to listen to youth that access the space,” says Matt, who also helps in other tangible ways like serving meals, doing dishes, cleaning up and supporting programming. Inspired to volunteer after seeing Milk, a film about gay rights activistpolitician Harvey Milk, Matt wanted to help ease the struggles that still affect LGBT2SQ communities worldwide, and felt compelled to act: “I come from a white, middle-class upbringing, and had an easy coming out experience. I started looking for opportunities to volunteer and help out in the community because I wanted to help lessen the burden, if only slightly, for folks who didn’t have such a privileged experience.”


SOY mentor

Matt says he volunteers with SOY because it’s the most important thing he does outside of caring for family and friends. In fact, it’s an extension of that caring: “This is the way I show love for my community, but also for my fellow humans. SOY is a very special program, and they are committed to creating a truly safe space for youth. I get just as much from volunteering as I’m giving.”

Employee groups can get involved this holiday season During the holidays, many groups and teams are looking for ways to give back in their communities. Fundraising for Sherbourne is an excellent way to participate and make a difference. One imaginative group, TELUS Spectrum Ontario, TELUS’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, organized a holiday-themed HoliDrag fundraising celebration for SOY. Four drag performers danced up a storm and the crowd mixed and mingled, all while raising over $1,400 for LGBT2SQ youth programs. Guests also heard from two LGBTQ newcomer youth about how SOY has helped them. To get involved, contact Catherine at

[From left] Drag Queen Tynomi Banks performs for guests; TELUS Spectrum Ontario co-chairs Adam Fernandes and Peter McHugh welcome the group.

“A philosophy that we are dedicated to at TELUS is the idea that we give where we live. Supporting Our Youth is a fantastic program that Spectrum Ontario is proud to support through our HoliDrag fundraiser as SOY plays an important role for youth in the LGBTQ+ community.” Adam Fernandes Co-Chair, TELUS Spectrum Ontario


Navigating life: SOY’s new cornerstone service When you read the letters GPS, what comes to mind? Global Positioning System? … How about Goal Planning Service?

youth and young adults, and offer a variety of additional supports like accompanying youth to appointments, connecting them to resources within Sherbourne Health and our broader Based on a full program evaluation completed in 2017, Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is evolving communities, and coordinating programming in into a collection of health and wellbeing focused SOY’s health and wellness groups. programs and services. One thing LGBT2SQ Stay tuned for more updates about how SOY is evolving responsively to support LGBT2SQ youth and young adults 29 and under said youth and young adults in moving through—and they wanted was more one-on-one support as changing—the landscapes of their lives. they deal with their current circumstances, and imagine and navigate their way to promising Who is accessing GPS? What goals are they futures. navigating? In response, SOY launched a new Goal Planning Service (GPS). On April 1st, we introduced five fulltime Youth Resource Workers (YRWs) who currently support over 80 youth to identify and achieve self-defined personal goals using GPS. The YRWs share lived experiences with the

• 74% are racialized • 46% are newcomers • 64% are working on a health or mental health goal, with 33% having had recent suicidal thoughts • 54% are working on a housing goal • 40% are working on an employment or training goal

Happy 20th birthday, SOY!

[From left] SOY youth Morgan entertains the crowd with a musical performance; SOY staffers gather for a photobooth moment; LGBT2SQ Community Programs Manager Adam Benn addresses the crowd with opening remarks; Guests enjoy a tasty spread of appetizers to celebrate SOY’s 20th birthday.

present through featured performances from three SOY youth, including a poetry reading and two musical acts, reflecting the vibrancy of the youth community that we are privileged to work with every day. Finally, we imagined the future Themed ‘Recognize the Past, Celebrate the of SOY, which is being shaped by voices of Present, Imagine the Future,’ the event brought together community supporters and SOY friends LGBT2SQ youth and their needs today to forge our path for SOY for the next 20 years. and family to mark this exciting milestone. We are excited to embark on this next chapter The past was honoured through recognizing in SOY’s evolution, as we work hand in hand community leaders who initiated the program with LGBT2SQ youth to develop and expand the at a time when the needs of LGBT2SQ youth were not being met. Guests also celebrated the program. On May 31st, Supporting Our Youth (SOY) held a special celebration to mark the program’s 20 years of serving the health and wellbeing of local LGBT2SQ youth and young people.


Bowling down new lanes for SOY The 19th annual Supporting Our Youth (SOY) Bowlathon rolled out on Saturday, October 20th, with the theme “Imagine the Future: Celebrate 20 Years and Beyond!’ SOY youth and young people, staff, mentors, friends, family and community members bowled in honour of SOY’s 20th anniversary while fundraising for local LGBT2SQ youth’s visions of their futures.

A heartfelt thank you to all of our Bowlathon participants, amazing RBC volunteers and our many generous prize donors for supporting this year’s event, making it the most successful Bowlathon to date!

Together, with the unwavering, dedicated efforts of our SOY and Sherbourne community, we raised a total of over $45,000! This year’s Bowlathon moved to a new location at The Ballroom Bowl in downtown Toronto. Over 130 bowlers and 24 teams, including two youth teams, eight staff-led teams and nine workplace teams, rushed to the lanes to throw strikes, laugh and dance, while costumes shimmered and joy was felt all around. Participants also made moments at the photobooth, and indulged in a tailgate-style lunch buffet while taking in some fun awards and prizes—including platinum tickets to see Cher live in concert!

Bowlathon participants hit the lanes and show their colourful ‘SOY spirit’ in full costume at The Ballroom Bowl in downtown Toronto.

Delicious campaign adds (pumpkin) spice to the fall season to support homeless LGBT2SQ youth This festive fall season, Sherbourne drove its third Give Thanks, With Love pie campaign in support of LGBT2SQ homeless youth.

Enterprise CarShare and our dedicated volunteers for their extraordinary support towards another fruitful campaign year.

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) pastry team once again generously donated the ingredients, packaging, time and skills to freshly bake over 350 apple pumpkin pecan pies for Supporting Our Youth’s Monday Night Drop-In.

Stay tuned to see how your office can get involved next year!

With pie sales on offer from September 17th to October 5th, we raised an impressive $8,300! This year we also offered a new delivery service for orders of 10+ pies, which were expertly delivered to recipients throughout Toronto courtesy of Enterprise CarShare. We extend our greatest thanks to MTCC,

Hundreds of pies are prepared and baked fresh the morning of the Give Thanks, With Love campaign for pickup and sales to the public.


A healthy approach to newcomer settlement For newcomers, settlement and good health are closely linked. In August, we started the User Centred–Settlement & Health Integration Project (UC–SHIP), which will combine settlement and health supports to create wraparound services that help newcomers to work on their long-term wellness as they settle in Canada.

have experienced trauma.

This three-year project is being funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and specifically focuses on visible minority newcomers, refugee populations and LGBT2SQ newcomers, including youth. The UC-SHIP aims to create a healthy environment for vulnerable newcomer communities, and help newcomers settle and thrive in their new environment, while recognizing that many may

The first steps will be stakeholder consultations with newcomer populations and partners, as well as training for Health and Settlement Ambassadors. Project partners include The Neighbourhood Organization, the St. James Town Community Corner and Winchester Junior and Senior Public School, with additional support from Health Access St. James Town.

UC-SHIP will provide a mix of services, like one-on-one and group-based mental health counselling, health and settlement workshops led by newcomer residents trained as Health and Settlement Ambassadors, settlement and case management, and connection to social supports.

Harm reduction: what’s new at Sherbourne?

Sherbourne’s Harm Reduction Committee develops, implements and monitors harm reduction practices at the centre. Their work supports people who use drugs, and connects service users to Sherbourne’s programs and services like counselling and primary care. In the spring, we received a needle (sharps) disposal bin from Toronto Public Health which was installed outside our building. This increases access to safe disposal of drug use equipment, even when the centre is closed.

Adding to our current needle and stem kits, we recently introduced safer smoking crystal meth kits, which include a pipe, condoms and an educational insert, and a needle “shorts” kit, which reduces injury risk to newer drug users. In the summer, we also started STASH (Supplies, Testing, Access, Support, Harm Reduction), a weekly harm reduction drop-in. A collaboration between the Hep C and Health Bus Teams, this group allows participants to learn about safer drug use and overdose prevention, get referrals to programs and care at Sherbourne, and be

Did you know…


connected to testing and treatment for chronic diseases like Hep C. “There’s a lot of stigma, fear and misconception associated with drug use and people who use drugs,” says Amika Gupta, Urban Health Team program coordinator. “Our work helps educate people and break down this stigma, and shows the community that we want to support them.” The Harm Reduction Committee won Sherbourne’s 2018 Quality Improvement Award for its work in addressing access and equity for people who use drugs, and increasing harm reduction visibility within Sherbourne.

Marty Behm, Community Support Worker for the Toronto Hep C Program, shows the new STASH harm reduction supplies cabinet.

Sherbourne celebrates the St. James Town community with food, fun & festivities

[From left] Sherbourne’s President & CEO Hazelle Palmer honours a Community Awards recipient; Local resident food vendors offer festival-goers diverse cultural delicacies; Dancers dressed in traditional attire perform on stage for the crowd.

The 8th annual St. James Town Festival took place in the parkette behind 200 Wellesley and Food Basics on September 8th. Themed ‘World Within a Block,’ the festival celebrates and promotes St. James Town’s cultural diversity. The event is a grassroots initiative, planned by the St. James Town Service Providers’ Network (SJTSPN) and a group of residents. Festival funding comes from local donations and contributions made by SJTSPN member agencies. The planning committee is led by SJTSPN Co-Chairs, which includes Sehr Athar from Sherbourne’s Newcomer Health Team. This year’s festival boasted over 15 colourful musical and dance performances, representing various cultural heritages of St. James Town, and 30 community partners showcasing their services and offering interactive activities. Sherbourne participated with teams from our Health Bus and Diabetes Education programs, and our President & CEO, Hazelle Palmer, was invited to present an award at the awards ceremony. Each year, Community Awards such as “Change Makers” and “Advocate” awards

are given out to recognize the achievements of local community members. Two scholarships are also awarded to youth to support them in accessing post-secondary education. A handful of residents also worked with Christina Tran, Community Dietitian on Sherbourne’s Newcomer Health Team, to develop a tasty menu for the festival. The vendors offered delights like mango lassi (India), mo mo dumplings (Nepal), injera bread (Ethiopia) and jerk chicken (Jamaica). The hope is to provide these vendors with more training and opportunities to showcase their creativity! It was a terrific day, thanks to the additional hard work of roughly 60 volunteers, most of whom are local community members. This year, local resident Deeksha Gupta was also elected to work as a planning committee Co-Chair. Deeksha’s contribution ensured that planning put community perspectives at the forefront. Festival feedback showed this year’s event to be one of the most successful. The SJTSPN looks forward to building on this momentum for years to come.

Looking ahead: save the date for our next ‘A Night at the Theatre’ event Sherbourne’s next ‘A Night at the Theatre’ fundraiser to see the Tony Award-winning hit musical Dear Evan Hansen takes place on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The evening includes premium seats to the show–that’s getting great Broadway buzz!–and a private reception to socialize with Sherbourne supporters and friends. Sherbourne’s individual and group ticket sales open in December, just in time for some special holiday gifts. Stay tuned for more details!


Sherbourne hosts first on-site event for World Hepatitis Day On July 26th, the Toronto Community Hepatitis C Program (TCHCP) organized the event ‘Can You See Me Now?’ to honour World Hepatitis Day 2018. Hosted at Sherbourne for the first time, this annual celebration pays tribute to those affected by viral hepatitis, and brings awareness to the importance of testing, treatment and support. Guests took in a special art project featuring works from participants of the TCHCP treatment programs and continuing care program. Pieces touched on issues of stigma, while visually sharing individual experiences of living with Hep C. Guests also enjoyed a delicious spread of appetizers, a candy snack bar, live DJ, an onsite interactive art mural and speeches from those involved in the TCHCP program. “It was very exciting for us to host this year’s event,” says Amy Muli, case manager and event organizer. “The day provides an excellent

Artwork on display by TCHCP program participants touched on issues of stigma and personal experiences of living with Hep C.

opportunity to learn more about Hep C, the programming and care we offer at Sherbourne, and the amazing work of the TCHCP.” Organizing partners from the TCHCP include Regent Park Community Health Centre and South Riverdale Community Health Centre.

RHO represents at AFHTO conference On October 24th and 25th, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) joined the exhibitor floor at the 2018 Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) Conference.

With over 800 primary care providers and other health sector professionals in attendance, #AFHTO2018 was an excellent opportunity to connect with new and familiar faces, including with Ontario providers about LGBT2SQ care, and to answer questions about RHO’s LGBT2SQ clinical and cultural competency trainings for providers. Full descriptions and training request forms are available at www. RHO used our table space to highlight resources that primary care providers can reference regarding LGBT2SQ care, including the Trans Primary Care Guide online tool (www.

Have feedback? We love hearing from you! Email, TRS Surgical Summary Sheets, TRS FAQ—produced as part of Ontario’s Trans Health Expansion—and the Media Reference Guide, co-produced with The 519. Check out these and more LGBT2SQ health resources via RHO’s online resource library:

RHO stations an exhibitor info booth at the 2018 AFHTO conference.

Profile for Sherbourne Health

Sherbourne Health: Mosaic News - Fall/Winter 2019 Edition  

Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2019 edition of Mosaic News, Sherbourne Health's newsletter.

Sherbourne Health: Mosaic News - Fall/Winter 2019 Edition  

Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2019 edition of Mosaic News, Sherbourne Health's newsletter.


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