On an unseasonably hot day in June, Jordan visited The Alex Youth Health Centre. She’d heard about The Alex years ago from a friend, but didn’t know much about it. As she bled from her wrist that afternoon, it was the only place she could think of to go.
Responding to shifting guidelines, overcoming technical hurdles, building new programs, maintaining our areas of strength and ensuring our teams are safe, both physically and emotionally – this has been the drumbeat of the last twelve months at The Alex.
It was a day like any other day for Colin. He woke up on someone else’s couch, put on the hoodie and jeans he’d been wearing for two weeks, and quietly walked out the front door. It wasn’t unusual for him to go without breakfast, or any meal for that matter.
Every day at The Alex Community Health Centre is unpredictable. Who will need us to advocate for their housing? Who will ask for a food referral? Who needs that extra time spent to just talk, and have someone listen?
I think the first time it hit me that life had radically changed was when I took my wedding band off permanently. The cherished piece of jewelry that my husband gave me had belonged to my husband’s grandmother and was really important to me.
“What do you do for a living?”
I always find this a difficult question to answer. Mental health worker, manager, teammate, toilet cleaner, chauffeur, funeral planner, chronic crier, bed bug inspector, mover, system navigator, de-escalator, and advocate are just a few of the hats I am blessed to wear in a role I have so proudly held for the past eight years.
The note, written in beautiful cursive, and decorated with flowers, peace signs and red crosses, read “I love all my Front Liners. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made for us!”