02 June 2011The mandate is to reach the youth who may not be part of a structured program in either Outremont or Côte-des-Neiges and who do not participate in neighbourhood activities. The principal tasks for Patrick René, the street worker, include active listening, counselling, make referral, accompany youth, carry out conflict resolution and create a connection with youth at risk. All this is to better understand their background, their needs and their concerns. As well a street worker acts as a bridge and a reference point for youth in order create contacts with both youth and the services that are offered. |
The Street worker has witnessed many accomplishments in the community. One of the most successful achievements was the opening of the skate park in Outremont. The purpose of this gathering place among other things is to develop talents in sports, as well as a sense of belonging, to blow off steam and to meet friends. This activity, which reflects an urban setting, saw a decrease in loitering on streets, as well as acts of vandalism, due in part to a legal graffiti wall that was erected in the same area.
We are often confronted by various situations which we cannot ignore. We are constantly in contact with youth. Some of our conversations are seen as mundane, such as sports or every day goings-on, while some are more serious such as discussion on employability, conflict between youth and parents, dropping out of school, and legal cases. A favourite for 2010 is to have the possibility to follow an extraordinary young man who surmounted his problems both at home and at school. After much time spent with him, he regained confidence in himself and since then he is doing well at school and holds down a job. To conclude every day spent in the company of these young people is deemed a success because often, the thing they need is just to have someone they can count on. And that makes all the difference.