Street Melt - Street Youth Employment Action
Created September 27, 2011 by Fran Romer
The clients at RainCity Housing (www.raincityhousing.org) are amongst the most marginalized and vulnerable in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Often they have suffered severe trauma in childhood or early adulthood. Due to difficult lives many of them face challenges and benefit greatly from increased opportunities.
For the majority of RainCity’s clients, the results of these issues are chronic homelessness, isolation from friends and family, lack of trust, lack of self-esteem/self-worth, and a distance from the community at large.
Historically there has been a tremendous stigma attached to homelessness and mental illness. The community at large has been reluctant to accept these individuals and to see them as equal human beings who are doing their best to cope with extremely difficult circumstances.
It’s said that folks have three requirements to establish a healthy life: a home, a friend and an activity.
To provide clients, and especially street youth, an opportunity to become a part of the community; to educate that community; to build self-esteem; to create confidence in one’s ability; and to provide entry level employment.
The GREAT idea…..
Create a social enterprise (Street Melt) to help integrate clients into the community while at the same time providing education for the general public.
With staff assistance, clients would operate a small portable food cart outside of the Downtown Eastside Vancouver community of Vancouver, serving the very best grilled cheese sandwich ever made! The main purpose of the venture is to give clients an opportunity to share their experiences with the general public in order to dispel fears and apprehension about homelessness and mental illness. In a setting outside of the Downtown Eastside it will be much easier for clients to be seen as the individuals they are and to gain acceptance and appreciation for their life experiences.
We estimate the start-up cost for one year of Street Melt to be **$137,000**. This amount would include the cost of the cart, wages and benefits (based on one staff member twice a week) food, licensing, storage/transportation, printing of educational brochures and peer honorariums.
We sincerely appreciate this opportunity and thank AVIVA for all of the work involved in producing this amazing contest
VOTE FOR OPPORTUNITY – VOTE FOR
STREET MELT - Street Youth Employment Action
For more information please contact:
Manager of Resource Development
RainCity Housing and Support Society