“We wanted to reach out to kids where they are,” says Shannon Wright, the nurse who heads up our main health care clinic.
On Wednesdays, our new Nurse Practitioner Naomi Thulien tends to minor illness or injuries. She refers youth to our main health care clinic or to other services they may need. And, she also lends the same non-judgemental and compassionate ear all of our health care staff give our youth.
Young people who are not staying in our shelter can find additional support in CSS as well. They are often youth who have moved on to independent living but continue to need extra help to live on their own. They may also be homeless kids whose experiences have left them with a deep mistrust of adults and structured programs.
Kids can come into our CSS centre for hot meals, clean clothes or a shower. They can use our small food bank, see a counsellor or participate in recreation activities.
“Connecting with kids as well as looking after their health care needs is our goal,” Shannon says. In our main clinic we take care of kids immediately, regardless of whether they have health insurance. Then we help them to get health cards and work to ensure they are getting all of the health services they need with us or in the community.