Why the program is important
This monthly luncheon provides a meal for our clients, purposely held near the of each month when clients disability income has been depleted. A good meal, peer networking, educational opportunities and craft tables make this a very well attended event every month.
This program, held in conjunction with the 1st United Church in Westboro is in it’s 18th year. The church generously provides volunteers for food preparation, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Ottawa and Upstream Ottawa cover the expenses, as well as promote and encourage local clients to take advantage of this special opportunity. The provision of safe accessible places for people in various stages of recovery is vital to the rehabilitative process and will help to promote long term success in their recovery.
1) What does Upstream’s 1st Connections Luncheon mean to you?
“I love going to 1st Connections. I am able to talk to people I haven’t seen in a while, and see how everyone’s doing… and it’s a good meal!” -Sylvain
“It is important to meet people that are part of the same community that you belong to, and you get to share your successes. [1st Connections] is a mutual place of growth.” -Romain
“Time to meet new people and talk about current issues.” – Bryan
“Friendly people. They’re very hospitable and give us a chance to socialize, talk, and have a good meal.” –Anonymous
2) How have you benefitted from this program?
“It has improved my social ability, as I was shy before. Before I came to Upstream I didn’t talk to anyone, as I didn’t know what to say. Now I am able to interact better than before and have made new friends coming here.” -Sylvain
“Gives me a sense of belonging. The people I meet enrich my life.” -Romain
“I’ve made friends.” -Bryan
“I’ve made new friends. Get different contacts and learn from other people.” –Anonymous
How your donation is put to work
Very simply, donations are used to offset transportation and food expenses each month.
Annual Program Expense