The doors at Why Not are open, just a crack.
That crack in the door is so important. The difference between lights off & door shut vs. a door open is immense.
When a door is open, even just a crack, means you haven’t been shut out. You are still welcome. Someone is home.
This third lockdown means the youth once again cannot simply come and hang out, play a game of pool or sit down with a video game. And hear me: that is a significant loss. A game of pool played with a staff member who cares can break the ice, it can provide a glimpse into what is going on behind a closed-off expression. Sitting with a volunteer on a comfy couch playing a game of Therapy Jenga might be the first interaction in a youth’s day that hasn’t totally stunk. These simple “recreational” activities that are a cornerstone to our drop-in centre and can help put the brakes on some pretty dark thoughts.
But now, again, we can’t do it. And when we focus on what we can’t do, we get frustrated and upset, which really isn’t all that helpful. So today, we are choosing to focus on what we can do.
The door is open a crack.
We have reduced our hours to 4:00-8:00 p.m. from our previous offering of 3:00-9:00 p.m. (3-5 Homework Help and Mental Health Supports; 5-9 Drop In).
Our youth (in very limited numbers) can make an appointment to push the door open when they need to and find us ready to meet their essential needs.
We can do our best to ensure food security. While we cannot serve meals, our food cupboard remains open to our youth. They can come and get what they need and we will even drop off food if they need more than they can carry.
We can stretch the limits of what we can accomplish in mental health support. A number of our youth are accessing individual therapy or group therapy/deep groups at Why Not. We can continue to offer this, in person and virtually.
We can continue to support the youth who need help with medical concerns.
We can and will keep our door open, even just a crack.
And if and when they show up with a need, we will be there.
It’s what we do, and we are committed to it.
How YOU can show up for us and for our youth:
COVID-19 has required us to re-evaluate, modify and adapt the ways in which we reach out and communicate with our youth. We have stretched and expanded the types of support we offer. Increasing relationship-based 1:1 supports and advocacy has been imperative to ensure our youth aren’t left to deal with their struggles on their own. We are making sure no one falls through the cracks, and there is always someone to turn to, be it a short conversation to vent, or crises intervention.
Additional support and resources require additional funding. A donation of just a few dollars, can go a long way to help ensure that we can keep our door open, just a crack. It can help ensure we have the proper people in place to provide 1:1 support for a youth who might find themselves in crises.
This is one way you can be here, for them and for us.
*Please know, the health and safety of our youth is our number one priority. We are continuing to take appropriate measures and precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe.