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Bell funds project to engage with Black youth

Caption: Sandy Mc Donald, Director of Community Affairs for Bell Canada, presented Upstream Executive Director Bo Turpin, left, and Upstream Board Chair Veronique Joncas, right, with a generous contribution on October 25.

OTTAWA Bell Canada is providing Upstream Ottawa with $20,000 for a project that
will engage with Ottawa’s Black youth.

The project is intended to create a safe space for young Black people to gather and
build a sense of community, while learning about available mental and substance-use
health services, delivered by Black clinicians, and enjoying a nutritious meal.
Upstream is partnering with theREACHcentre of Ottawa to hold a Black Connections
dinner on Fridays once a month in the Carlington community, at 1485 Laperriere
Avenue. The nine-month project is aimed at engaging young people between the ages
of 15 and 29 and will begin in the New Year.

Last evening, at a meeting of the Upstream Board of Directors, Sandy McDonald,
Regional Director of Community Affairs for Bell Canada, presented a ceremonial
cheque to Upstream for $20,000 for the project.

“Upstream is pleased to be involved with this innovative project and we are grateful to
Bell Canada for its enthusiastic support of our work over many years,” said Bo Turpin,
Executive Director of Upstream Ottawa Mental Health Community Support. “This
initiative is in alignment with Upstream’s recent expansion of service to the region’s
young Black community and addresses the growing concerns about food insecurity in
lower-income neighbourhoods.”

Upstream provides a range of critical community supports and affordable housing
options to people living with mental health and/or substance-use health concerns.

Services include: intensive mental health case management, housing, youth support
services with a focus on Black youth and their families, crisis prevention, medication
management and lifeskills coaching.

For more information go to, call the Upstream Ottawa office at 248-3330 ext. 401, or send an email to

Bell funds project to engage with Black youth

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