By Munira Yusuf
This year, The St. James Town Service Providers’ Network (SJTSPN) and The Corner hosted its annual Spring Gathering on June 10th. The event brought together community members and service providers to discuss various topics about the community. The discussions were broken down into four topics, which included access to primary care, mental health and social isolation, safety as a factor of mental health, and food security and access. Health Access St. James Town led the event in collaboration with the Service Providers Network and community residents. The overall goal was to get a better understanding of the needs of the community. Updates were shared from community programs including the 2SLGBTQ+ newcomer’s group, intergenerational and cross-cultural programming for seniors, the Black wellness clinic, the 240 Hub, and the vaccination clinic.
Sehr Athar, Health Promoter and Systems specialist with Sherbourne Health discusses the importance of vaccine engagement and equity-based pop-up clinics in St. James Town.
Program manager, Nayanthi Wijesuriya, outlines some of the growth and successes with Health Access St. James Town.
Community Ambassador, Kaina Mendoza, speaks on community engagement with 2SLGBTQ+ residents in St. James Town.
Progress Place’s Christina Abate discusses the reality of isolation amongst seniors and the response efforts made to combat the issue.
Parent and child educator, Suvetha Suthakaran, with SickKids Mental Health talks about parent and child programming.
Client engagement worker with The Corner 240, Alaa Mohamed, discusses bringing more initiatives to create a greener and more sustainable neighbourhood.
Community caseworker, Munira Yusuf, outlines the importance of Black wellness clinics while highlighting the Health Access initiatives to engage with the Black community.
Community Ambassador, Xiao Pang, showcases the Intergenerational Programming for Seniors while sharing a heartwarming story on his experience working with the seniors.
Event attendees were asked to draw how they envision their ideal St. James Town.
Residents and service providers engaged in discussions to address identified issues within the community.
Overall, the event ended amazingly with residents providing feedback and evaluation on their experience. Guests attending the event got to take home delicious lunches provided by the Catering Collective.
Please stay tuned for the report which will include more details from the Spring Gathering!