The St. James Town community is often called a landing pad for newcomers. Several immigrants make the neighbourhood their home as they arrive in Canada. It is tough getting assimilated into a new culture, a new way of life, adjusting to a new environment. It is important to be able to connect these newcomers with important services that help them start their life in Canada. On the 21st of June, 2019 Health Access St. James Town held the Newcomer Welcome Days at 666, 700, and 730 Ontario Street.
The event is part of a continuing series with similar programs aimed at reaching out to newcomers. The event connects newcomers and residents with services including on-site services and works with residents to enhance social connections between newcomers and their communities in their places of residence. Services include primary health, where to find a family doctor, dental, settlement services, community programs, healthy eating & nutrition screening for kids and seniors, Newcomer Women’s Social Clubs, Parenting programs and more.
Health Access St. James Town is a collaborative effort by several organisations to connect residents to health and social services through a single intake process. The partners include: Sherbourne Health, SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health, WoodGreen Community Services, Toronto Public Health, The Neighbourhood Organization, Central Neighbourhood House, and the Wellesley Community Centre. Residents commuting on Ontario Street were approached by staff and volunteers who introduced them to services and resources. Those interested were registered on-site and over 50 residents were registered. The event also featured several fun and engaging activities for children and adults including free henna, ring toss, free children’s books, bingo as well as a raffle draw with multiple prizes for those who participated.