Join the hospitality team at Our Place and reach out a supportive hand to our local community members with mental health issues so that they may be united with us in friendship, faith and love.
Commitment: Once a week for 2 ½ hours on either Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday; anytime between 2:30 pm - 10:00 pm.
What Is Our Place?
Our Place Community of Hope is a drop-in social centre in downtown Toronto for people who experience mental health issues. Our Place is celebrating over 25 years of community since it was founded by a Capuchin-Franciscan priest in 1976 when many people who were discharged from psychiatric institutions needed a place of continuing renewal and friendship. The goal of the centre is to affirm the person and to build community. Guided by a staff of 7 and generous volunteers, the centre provides a ministry of hospitality, reflecting Catholic beliefs and values. Currently, over 350 active members make Our Place their social hang out.
As a parishioner in the Newman Centre community, you have the opportunity to reach out at Our Place to our local community members with mental health issues so that they may be united with us in friendship, faith and love.
This could be an excellent experience for those interested in careers in psychiatry, social work, nursing and faith-based ministry, or if you simply desire to better understand life issues that people face when affected by mental health illness and are interested in extending a caring hand.
What will the volunteer work entail?
As an Our Place volunteer, your work will involve more "being" than "doing" for simply your presence is the most valuable thing you will share. The contribution of staff and volunteers is primarily in the form of presence rather than in deeds, and the contribution is meant to support, empower and affirm.
You will be asked to commit 2 ½ hours per week and you will spend your time befriending members, listening, chatting, philosophizing, laughing, helping prepare, serve and clean up the community meal, playing cards, participating in the spirituality, drama or arts & crafts groups, or shooting some pool. Your first volunteer position at Our Place will be working the refreshment counter where coffee, tea, juice, snacks are sold to members. The setting provides the opportunity to meet patrons and get a feel for the environment at the centre. Members or volunteers are not forced to participate in an activity with which they are not comfortable.
When and Where will I volunteer?
The shift choices are for 2 ½ hours on either Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday; anytime between 2:30 pm - 10:00 pm. Our Place is located at 2A Elm St, which is just off Yonge Street to the west across from Sam the Record Man (one block north of the Dundas TTC station). Our Place is only a 15 min walk from the Newman Centre.
What support is available for volunteers?
There is a Community Outreach Coordinator to organize and support the volunteers on an ongoing basis and there is a minimum of four staff members working at the centre at all times. Our Place staff members are very supportive and approachable, they are trained to observe volunteers and they are always available for a chat.
Furthermore, strengthening sessions will be provided throughout year after shifts to discuss the joys, challenges and feelings volunteers are experiencing at Our Place. Letters of reference and appreciation are available to all successful volunteers.
How do I get involved?
To volunteer with Our Place, please contact Nancy Sidle at email@example.com
Where can I get more information?
If you would like more information about Our Place, visit their official website at: http://www.ourplacecommunityofhope.com/
If you would like more information about the Capuchin Franciscans, the Catholic religious order which supports Our Place, please visit: http://www.capuchins.ca/
By joining the community at Our Place as a volunteer, you are making a strong statement that you are willing to demystify mental health illness, to challenge the stereotypes associated with people with mental health issues and to experience God's love through those alienated in our society.
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