REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: Supportive Housing Program Review

Marguerite’s Place, a program within the St. John’s Status of Women Council’s portfolio of work, is a supportive housing program. It is an eight-unit program in which residents live in their own apartments, with the options for community and support from a 24/7 single-staffed model. Women and nonbinary folks are welcome to stay for up to three years in a safer and stable environment. They can work toward their goals, identified by the resident themselves in regular conversation with Marguerite’s Place staff, with varying levels of support from both the staff and community.

Project Scope

The program review should:

  • Provide feedback and suggestions on current and potential programming.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on safety and security protocols.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions regarding current documentation practices.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on staffing levels, job descriptions, positions and scheduling.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on policies, including the staff handbook and the resident handbook.
  • Provide a critical review of harm reduction and trauma informed care as they could be better reflected in Marguerite’s Place ways of working.
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on the potential to scale up or increase housing offerings beyond Marguerite’s Place.
  • Suggest potential indicators for tracking the impact of the housing program going forward.

Proposal Submission

Proposals will be accepted until 17 February 2023, 5:00pm (NDT). Please use the subject line: “MPHS Program Review – NAME OF YOUR COMPANY OR RESEARCHer” in the subject line.

Any questions on this RFP and all proposals must be submitted by email to hiring@sjwomenscentre.ca.

HIRING: Relief Housing Support Worker

Being a Housing Support Worker at Marguerite’s Place means being ready for anything. Whether that be an evening of chatting with residents and building a puzzle or supporting someone through a moment of crisis or simply sitting around to tea and cookies. Everyday can look different, but you will be empowered to develop and build programming that supports the needs and interests of residents, to grow in your knowledge and understanding of harm reduction, and to be part of a team working together to support people who have found a home at Marguerite’s Place.

Relief Housing Support Workers are there to support their full and part time team members when they need time for leave, when they need a health day, or when those unexpected life events happen. These shifts are often with little notice, but can also be planned months in advance. We are in need of relief workers who are regularly available from 4PM – 12AM and from 12AM -8AM from Monday to Friday, but also those that would be available for relief work on weekends from 8AM -8PM and from 8PM to 8AM.

Salary: The rate of pay for this position is $21.95/hour.

Closing Date: 13 January 2023 – 4pm Newfoundland Time.

Please email a cover letter and resume to: hiring@sjwomenscentre.ca 

HIRING: Housing Support Worker, Marguerite’s Place

Note that this is a temporary position for 3 months, with the possibility of extension.

Being a Housing Support Worker at Marguerite’s Place means being ready for anything. Whether that be an evening of chatting with residents and building a puzzle or supporting someone through a moment of crisis or simply sitting around to tea and cookies. Everyday can look different, but you will be empowered to develop and build programming that supports the needs and interests of residents, to grow in your knowledge and understanding of harm reduction, and to be part of a team working together to support people who have found a home at Marguerite’s Place.

Marguerite’s Place is a supportive living program for single women over the age of 30, providing 24- hour, 7 day per week on-site support and programming for residents.  

The Housing Support Worker reports directly to the Marguerite’s Place Program Coordinator and serve as a part of the circle  of care for residents.  This position requires working alone. Closing Date: 30 December 2022, 4:00PM Newfoundland time. Please email a cover letter and resume to: hiring@sjwomenscentre.ca Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Remarks on December 6th, 2022 – Remembrance and Action

Lisa Faye, Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council and Women’s Centre, was invited to giving the keynote address at the Memorial University of Newfoundland December 6th vigil for 2022. You can find her full speech below.

Good evening everyone. Thank you to the Memorial University Sexual Harassment Office for inviting me to speak tonight. 

Wow, 33 years since this awful event. And here we are, yet another national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. Another day to remember those who have been lost, to encourage those who are living with violence, to take action to change the systems that allow this to go on. 33 years. It sounds like a long time and yet we have so much farther to go in ending gender based violence. 

Remembrance and action. 

It’s hard to focus on remembering as we live with ongoing violence. Violence in our homes. Violence on George Street. Violence when taking a cab home in the evening. Violence when we decide to leave our partners. Violence by police officers. Violence when speaking up for our rights. Violence when we’re doing nothing but going about our everyday lives. But it is important to remember. 

I imagine these 14 young women telling their families that they were going to university to study engineering and I imagine mixed reactions. Pride, wonder, uncertainty. Myself, I grew up in a home impacted by violence and, when I said I was going to head off to university my own mother had two feelings – sadness and hope. With only a grade 10 education, she saw no safe way to leave. With a university education though, she truly believed I would always have the financial independence to make the best choices for myself.  

To leave if I had to. 

Tonight I’m thinking about Indigenous women and 2 spirit people in our country. I’m thinking about the families of the victims in Manitoba. I’m thinking about the people I heard remembered during First Light’s Sisters in Spirit event. I’m thinking of the stolen land we are all standing on right now and the violence that was part of taking that land. I’m thinking of the calls to action that came from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the need for these to be implemented. 

Tonight I’m thinking about the women and gender diverse people affected by incarceration. I think of the people sitting in prisons right now, while there is little effort to look at other models of justice that might be available. I think about transformative justice – a form of justice that allows us to respond to violence without inflicting further violence, a way of “making things right,” getting in “right relation,” a way of creating justice together. 

Tonight I’m thinking about sex workers in our community and the violence they face as a results of a justice system that refuses to see the value in decriminalizing their work. I think about the laws that leave sex workers unable to speak up about the violence they face, the laws that leave them unable to screen clients fully, the laws that criminalize their work. I think about the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act – an act that protects no one, an act that makes sex workers less safe every day. 

Tonight I‘m thinking of the mothers, friends, and community members that I heard speak at the Sisters in Spirit event hosted by First Light recently. I think about the story shared, at Confederation Building for the purple ribbons ceremony, a story of a mother whose daughter was murdered by her ex partner. I think about the stories that I heard at the Trans Day of Remembrance, about people who were murdered or who died by suicide due to the daily violence they faced. I think about those 14 young women killed in Montreal that day. 

Tonight I’m also thinking of the people sitting here with us, living with violence. You are seen and you are not alone. 

With this platform and this short amount of time, I want to focus on the second piece of what this day is for – a call to action.

I call on the University to make change. I want to see a University where my transgender friends can decide to transition and be supported to change their name and ID cards the very next day. This is a safety issue, it is an issue of respect, and, the truth is, it is a clerical issue that shouldn’t be hard to remedy. I want to see a University where people can afford to go to school and to get that education that is so precious when it comes to having the financial ability to make decisions about your own life in the future. I want this for international students as well, a group of students who face barriers to working in the province and incredibly high tuition fees. I want to see a University where students are empowered to protest, but also one where students know they have an open door to share their concerns and to voice the changes that are needed.. I want to see a University where both students and faculty have access to domestic violence leave – giving them the time needed to build a safety plan and to take the steps they need to take to leave violent relationships. I want to see a University that empowers people to speak out about sexual violence and doesn’t leave them to fill out a million pieces of paperwork and navigate a challenging bureaucracy. There is a need for change in this university and I am here calling for that change to happen. 

I call on our government’s department of Women and Gender Equality to make change. For years the SJSWC has been calling for a gender based violence task force and I’m here tonight to ask for it again. There are laws on our books right now that do not make it possible for women and gender diverse people in our community to keep themselves safe. Earlier this year we heard about a woman whose violent ex partner had changed his name and so she struggled to keep track of him – an important part of her safety plan. I spoke to a woman earlier this year who could not take her violent ex-partner’s name off of her mortgage. Being unable to make this change left her vulnerable to financial abuse on an ongoing basis.. Everyday, the system gets in the way of people making brave choices, leaving violent relationships, and so we need to change the system altogether and, while we are ready to be partners in making this happen, it will take government to lead the way in establishing a gender based violence task force in our province to coordinate and oversee all of these systemic and legal changes we so desperately need. 

I call on the Department of Justice and Public Safety to start now in building change and investing in new ways of looking at “justice.” Every year we invest more money in police services and every year we hear about violence inflicted by police in our communities. If we start today to look at forms of transformative and restorative justice, we can put in place the systems and structures needed to make that a reality. If we invest in in housing, in mental health supports, in supports for people who use substances – if we invest in building a community that works for people – then we can decrease funding to police services. I challenge everyone here today, to read the First Voice report – Building Trust, Restoring Confidence, a report that focuses on strengthening police oversight in Newfoundland and Labrador. Consider the recommendations outlined there, and to call your elected representative to advocate for these changes. Just search First Voice and policing and you can learn all about the calls to action. And, while you and I need to know what Indigenous people are demanding in our province, it is up to the Department of Justice and Public safety to make that happen. 

I call on each person in this room to be part of ending gender based violence. The truth is, violence is everywhere around us. You know people affected by it. I know people affected by it. And so, it is going to take every single person here today in order to make change. I am calling on every person here tonight to take the SJSWC Empowering Them e-course and to encourage one other person in their lives to take it. It is free and it only takes 2 hours, but it will empower you to know how to safely check in with the people around you about gender based violence. You can find cards on our table in the lobby so you can find the course online. I challenge the government and the university to make this course mandatory for all employees. I encourage university professors to utilize it as part of their class work.

And to those of you facing violence, I encourage you to reach out. We are all ready to hear you and support you. I see you and I’m hoping for you. 

So here we are. I think I have a few moments left. I want to ask us all to stop and think about our next step. Our next step in being part of the solution. I’ll give you time now and I ask you to make a promise to take action, be specific in that action. Whether it be to take the Empowering Them course or read the First Voice report on police oversight or to write to your local elected official about the importance of decriminalizing sex work or if it is to begin the hard work of setting up a gender based violence task force – what ever it is This promise is to yourself. It is to our community. It is to those 14 women who died. 

Thank you. Thank you for being part of the solution. 

OPPORTUNITY: Receptionist

This position is the main reception and first point of contact for the St. John’s Status of Women/Women’s Centre and Marguerite’s Place. This is a public facing environment that includes interface with residents, the public and staff. The position provides a welcoming, safe and helpful environment to people attending the Women’s Centre for programming, supports and services.

Applications close 25 November 2022.

Please send applications, including a cover letter to: hiring@sjwomenscentre.ca

Full Receptionist Job Description

Managed Alcohol Program releases their two- part jurisdictional review on other MAP’s in Canada

MAP’s Harm Reduction Researcher, Mary Walsh, has produced 2 documents that have proven invaluable to the program’s development. MAP hopes that this information could be helpful to others who are interested in harm reduction in general, or implementing managed alcohol as part of their own service offerings. 

The first report focuses on “scattered-site” (ie. outreach-based) model MAPs across the country, as well as learnings from local community members with lived expertise of substance use and harm reduction. The second report hones in on residential-based MAPs, examining the supportive housing model of safe alcohol dispensing. 

Contact:

Mary Walsh, Harm Reduction Researcher with MAP

mary@sjwomenscentre.ca

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Counsel Representing Canadian Premiers Awards the St. John’s Status of Women Council an Award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care

On October 18th, Canada’s Premiers   announced the winners of an award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care. The St. John’s Status of Women Council’s  Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) was selected to receive this distinction for Newfoundland and Labrador. The award honours innovative initiatives that positively impact mental health and addictions care, MAP is proud to join other exciting initiatives across Canada in furthering this important harm reduction work.

The Managed Alcohol Program is a pilot that began in 2021 and assists women and nonbinary people who experience risks and harms related to alcohol use. MAP’s harm reduction approach provides participants a safe and stable supply of alcohol, along with social and healthcare support. MAP works with Eastern Health to assess participant eligibility, determine a safe dose of alcohol, and provide ongoing reassessment and primary healthcare services.

While managed alcohol programs are widely recognized as valuable tools, the St. John’s Status of Women Council’s MAP is unique in its focus on women and nonbinary individuals and offers an innovative mix of outreach, residential programming, and peer support alongside research and learning. In addition to the direct benefits to participants, MAP shares learnings from this pilot widely, encouraging the program to grow across the province and beyond..

MAP is celebrating this achievement as a win for harm reduction in Newfoundland and Labrador. The program’s greatest innovations are its flexibility in letting participants determine their own healthcare goals, and its non-judgmental approach to whole-person support. MAP participants have noted that this program helps them feel validated, important, and in control. MAP invites people to view their substance use in a different way, and live the best lives they can.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Learn more about the award here: https://www.canadaspremiers.ca/mhaa/

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information or to arrange for interviews, please contact:

Becky Fleming, Harm Reduction Program Coordinator

St. John’s Status of Women Council

709 725 8700

St. John’s Women’s Centre is Hiring: Part-time Counsellor

Right Here Right Now Drop-In Counselling Program is a unique offering in the community to support women and non-binary people who are seeking free, accessible counselling services. The Part-time Counsellor position reports directly to the Clinical Team Lead Counsellor. While this position is mainly on-site in St. John’s, some work may occur remotely.

To apply: Send cover letters and resumes to hiring@sjwomenscentre.ca with the subject line “Part-time Counsellor” by 4:00 PM,  on September 2nd, 2022.

See full job description below for all the details:

Hiring: Operational Assistant, SJSWC

The Operational Assistant, with support from staff across the organization, is responsible for event organizing, communications support, tracking of supplies, and administration duties as assigned. This position includes work across the organization, with room for learning and growth in many skillsets. This position reports directly to the Executive Director.

  • Hours of Work: This position can be taken on either a full time or part time basis, with the length of the contract being dependent on the option chosen.
  • Salary: $17.30 / hour
  • Closing Date: Due to the urgent nature of this recruitment, applications will be reviewed and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. Applications will close on 31 August 2022, 4PM Newfoundland time.

Please email a cover letter and resume to: hiring@sjwomenscentre.ca

Full job description available here.