The Community Programs Department was created to address isolation and marginalization of men, women and families living with HIV/AIDS. The program promotes social integration, health, and well-being which help in developing a sense of belonging and community among residents and within the larger community.
The staff team oversees the Wellness Centre at our Sherbourne site which provides a variety of services, offered by professionals, free of charge. Alternative therapies are an important complement to established therapies in order to help maintain complete health and are popular with people living with HIV/AIDS. The team strive to provide a variety of opportunities for residents and clients in all programs. Currently, the following therapies and wellness programs are being offered on a regular basis:
- Massage therapy
- Polarity therapy
- Dance classes
- Hair cuts
- Dental hygienist cleanings
Some of these activities are offered on a drop-in basis and others require signing up in advance.
Social and Recreational Programs provide access to a range of activities, services and outlets for residents/clients. The goals of the activities are to bring people together to socialize and get to know each other better and to promote an active lifestyle for the residents.
Some of the activities include:
- Workshops on financial literacy, health, benefits, and community services
- Group outings for shopping, recreational activities, and performances
- Expressive Art Club and the Annual Creative People’s Festival
- Gardening Club
- Bereavement meetings
- Special dates and events celebration with the residents
Fife House recognizes that eating a balanced and nutritious meal can be a challenge for some of our residents. Recognizing that healthy eating supports a healthy immune system and healthy living, Fife House created a series of meal programs. With the support and supervision of our Food Developer Worker, who develops the menus, meals are prepared and served to residents by volunteers and peers. Some meals are provided to residents free or charge while other meals require a small amount in order to help offset the rising costs of ingredients.
Currently the meal programs we offer include:
Breakfast Club – This peer-led program is offered twice a week. Also offered weekly at the Jarvis Residences.
Bread Distribution – A peer-led program with the support of Cobbs Bakery. Donated bread are distributed to residents in different locations.
Wednesday Meal – With the support of Second Harvest, volunteers and peers are supervised by our Food Developer Worker as they prepare a balanced and nutritious meal for residents. Volunteers also prepare and serve weekly meals at the Jarvis Residences.
Sunday Brunch – See below.
Sunday Meals – Two dedicated teams of volunteers prepare meals twice a month for our Jarvis residents.
Second Harvest Food Distribution – Weekly food donations from Second Harvest are used in the preparation of meals served to residents. Donated food is also distributed to residents in our different locations. From Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018, Second Harvest delivered 27,910 pounds of food, a donation valued at $69,775.
Moss Park Vegetable Garden – A peer-led initiative where peers plant and cultivate vegetable gardens during the summer months that are harvested to be offered as fresh and organic options in our meal programs.
There are slight differences between the food programs that we offer, depending on the location.
RBC Breakfast & Brunch Club
Through the generosity of the RBC Foundation, the Sherbourne Residence is able to offer a twice-weekly Breakfast Club for residents to gather, interact, and have a light meal.
Additionally, funding is provided for a monthly Sunday brunch. Every month, a dedicated team of RBC Volunteers assemble, prepare, and serve a hearty brunch that is very popular with residents. More than 30 people attend every month to enjoy offerings such as french toast, pancakes, bacon, sausages, and other hot items. Tea, coffee, juice, and fresh fruit are always in supply.
Below is a photo of one of the RBC teams following a recent Sunday Brunch.