Group Name: Houselink – Social Recreation
Description: In our Mission Statement, we use the term ‘psychiatric survivors’ to talk about those we serve. We know that language is not neutral, lives within a social and political context, and evolves as our culture changes, often in response to our advocacy and vigilance as an organization. The power to ‘name things’ can create clarity and make visible that which was hidden. This power can also restrict and marginalize. Our members have lived this reality. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of psychiatric consumers/survivors including those who are homeless or otherwise marginalized, through the provision of permanent affordable supportive housing and programs.
Social isolation – never getting out of the house – is one of the biggest threats to the health of people with mental illness. Houselink’s Social Recreation Program builds the bridge from isolation to physical activity, good nutrition, affordable entertainment, and most importantly, a community of peers. The program’s success depends on member leadership at every level. A volunteer, 12-member, elected committee comprised entirely of people with mental illness oversees program decisions and policies. Houselink members are employed part-time to open and staff the Drop-Ins, cook meals, and organize events and crafts.
The Social Recreation program includes:
- Two drop-in centres open to both resident and non-resident members.
- Community meals, including a weekly community lunch and Sunday dinner, plus a semi-monthly Breakfast Club. Meals rotate among our larger buildings to reach all members.
- Sports, events and activities. We offer low-cost or free tickets to sports and cultural events, and organize sports activities, card tournaments, movie days, and picnics.
- Arts and crafts, led by trained members.
- Recovery forums: where members are informed in areas of recovery and discuss their own personal progress with peers.
- A computer club, including coaching by and for members.
- Men and Women’s Group.
Where: 805 Bloor St West | Toronto, ON M6G 1L8
Contact: 416-539-0690 | www.houselink.on.ca