What is Miles for Smiles?
A number of years ago, four Hamilton, Ontario lawyers brainstormed for a way to raise money to assist some of the most disadvantaged members of our community � homeless and street-involved youth. These four gentlemen came up with the idea of riding their bicycles for pledges, and Miles for Smiles was born. Over the years, the Biking Barristers (as they came to be known) have seen Miles for Smiles evolve into an annual effort to bring the local legal and business communities together to join forces and raise money in support of facilities that help these kids, in particular two such facilities operated by the Good Shepherd Centres: Brennan House, Notre Dame House, Notre Dame House School and Angela’s Place.
614 King Street East, Hamilton, ON L8N 1E2 Phone: 905-577-1166
Brennan House provides housing to support local youth in their transition from homelessness to independence. Brennan House provides a 15 bed, co-ed transitional housing program for youth 16 to 20 years of age.
This long-term, personal strength-based program supports young people in transition from homelessness to independence. Residents are expected to establish their own personal goals with the aid of Youth Support Workers.
At Brennan House, young people are encouraged to develop life skills such as budgeting, problem solving, conflict resolution, anger management, self awareness and other identified areas. The team approach incorporates 24-hour Youth Support Workers and community resources to assist youth in their development.
Brennan House staff offer unconditional love in a warm, supportive home-like atmosphere. Residents are expected to assume responsibility for setting and following house rules and expectations, establishing personal goals and completing their education or undergoing job skills training or employment.
1080 King Street East, Hamilton, ON L8M 1E3 Phone: 905-577-1166
An Aftercare transitional support house for upward of two years for youth needing minimal support after living at Brennan House. This facility has 6 furnished bachelor units.
Residents are supported on-call by Brennan House staff at all times. A liaison youth support worker meets with each of the residents on a weekly basis based on their needs. Once a week the residents and a Brennan House staff have a community kitchen together.
14 Cannon Street West, Hamilton, ON L8R 2B3 Phone: 905-308-8090
Notre Dame House is a 24-hour emergency shelter and Community Resource Centre for homeless and street-involved youth.
Notre Dame also has a community resource centre that offers a drop in meal program, case management support for youth who live in the community who are precariously housed, street involved or homeless. All youth accessing Notre Dame residential and community recourse centre has access to youth specific trained professionals through Youth Support Workers, the Health clinics: mental health clinicians, access to nurse practitioner, access to general practitioner, sexual health clinic from Public Health on site, access to psychiatrist and addictions counselor, aftercare services and Youth Housing Advocate and Housing Worker.
The six-week residential program uses a unique team approach that pairs each young person with a youth support worker who helps them reach their personal goals using strength based, client centered approaches. Program objectives are achieved through advocacy, case coordination, recreational/ therapeutic programming, informal counseling and connections to housing, education, income resources and other identified needs.
138 James Street North, Hamilton, ON Phone: 905-308-8090
In 2001, Notre Dame House also opened a school to meet the educational needs of these young people in our downtown core.
Notre Dame House School is staffed by two teachers and a Youth Support Worker . Students may attend the school for a brief period, then reintegrate into a main stream high school, or they may complete their high school credit with Notre Dame House School . ALL DAY CLASSES INCLUDE GYM CREDITS.
Students set the pace for their learning and work on their specific credits individually. The school day begins with gym class at the YMCA, followed by “Let’s Talk About It” discussions on a broad range of topics. After lunch, students work individually on specific high school credits.
The program revolves around the concept of body, mind and spirit. Students are presented with many options to help them achieve success: co-op education; the Ontario Youth Apprentice Plan (OYAP); the opportunity to obtain a secondary school diploma while applying to college or university etc.
320Tragina Avenue North, Hamilton, ON L8H 5E3 Phone: 905-549-4276
Angela’s Place is made up of 15 fully-furnished and independent units that offer young parenting mothers 21 years of age and younger, safe and affordable housing in a comfortable setting.
Tenants are expected to attend programs that help to build life skills and increase parenting abilities.
Equipped with a community room, Angela�s Place provides on-site programming such as life-skills development (for example, cooking and budgeting), pre-employment counselling, and educational programs about healthy infant growth and development and infant play and stimulation.
Programs offered on site include holistic nutrition, infant bonding and attachment, and Ontario Early Years of Hamilton. Liaisons have also been formed with Public Health, Alternatives for Youth, LEAP (Learning, Earning and Parenting), nurse practitioners and mental health clinicians. The average length of stay is between 12 and 24 months. The program provides support staff to residents 7 days a week, as well as after-hours on-call support. Once fully occupied, staff will be available 12 hours per day. There will also be an on-site superintendent.
Mothers attend weekly tenant meetings and regularly meet with a Youth Support Worker to assess and develop goals. Support related to advocating on behalf of the tenants includes childcare subsidy, academic and public health education.