Interview with the Neighbourhood Group Community Services
During the month of June, Humber River Hospital Foundation is proudly embracing Pride Month as we celebrate the *2SLGBTQIA+ community!
Today, we’re shining a light on one of Humber River Hospital’s community partners, the Neighbourhood Group Community Services (TNGCS). They are a fusion of three great organizations: Central Neighbourhood House, Neighbourhood Link Support Services and St. Stephen’s Community House. Together, they joined forces to serve over 40,000 marginalized people annually in 33 locations across Toronto.
TNGCS serves some of Toronto’s most at-risk groups, including the LGBTQ+ Refugee and Newcomer Support Program called Rainbow Connect.
TNGCS and Rainbow Connect
Rainbow Connect is a safer and brave space for LGBTQ+ refugee and newcomers that consists of weekly group support sessions, bi-weekly peer-to-peer group sessions and one-on-one resettlement support and advocacy.
Ranjith Kulatilake, Coordinator, LGBTQ+ Settlement Services for Rainbow Connect, said that the program provides information and referrals for refugee claim support, employment, resume writing, mental health, systems navigation and advocacy.
“Rainbow Connect provides opportunities for skills development, networking, volunteering, public speaking and presenting and peer leading,” they said.
The Neighbourhood Group Community Services’ Accomplishments and Next Steps
As many organizations have had numerous challenges due to the pandemic, TNGCS were excited to open 100 units of new supportive housing for people living with disabilities and struggling with homelessness.
Amanda Bland, Executive Assistant of TNGCS, said that they opened a new childcare centre in growing neighbourhoods in North York for 62 families, and the list keeps on growing!
“In 2022, so far, we have opened a new office on Keele Street and Finch Avenue West to support the youth reintegrating into the school system,” Amanda said.
She adds that TNGCS continues to increase the capacity limit for the in-person programs, classes and workshops back to pre-pandemic levels and are looking to hire 100 summer students to support summer programming, including summer camps for children.
“We’ll also be welcoming back our English-as-a-Second-Language students to classroom learning and returning programs for children and youth in schools and recreation centres again,” she said. “Not only that, we’re celebrating Seniors Month with the hundreds of seniors receiving homecare, meals on wheels and adult day programs.”
Collaborating with Humber River Hospital
With many programs making its way back for TNGCS, Amanda said they are looking forward to continue working with Humber River Hospital.
“We have several services and locations in the Humber community. We look forward to partnering more with Humber River Hospital to serve youth, newcomers and children with more access to innovative programming.”
For more information on the Neighbourhood Group Community Services and Rainbow Connect, please visit their website at theneighbourhoodgroup.org