Community Advocacy

The Peer Advocacy Office is located downstairs, on the same floor as the Good Food Bank. The office is run by Peer Advocates who have successfully completed the Community Advocacy Training.

Advocates are available to offer resources, referrals, and support on a wide array of issues from replacing lost identification, to helping fill out paperwork, to conducting a housing search. The office is open to all community members and no appointment is needed.

For more information on the services the Community Advocacy Office offers please check out the Community Advocacy Office page, called Perth Advocates on Facebook.

To speak to an advocate please call 613-267-6428 ext. 29 or email advocacy@thetablecfc.org

Office hours are: Monday 2pm – 5pm, Tuesday 12pm – 3pm, Wednesday 4pm – 6pm, Thursday CLOSED, and Friday 2pm – 5pm

Advocacy Initiatives

One in six. According to researchers at 1in6 Canada, that’s the approximate number of men in Canada who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.  That’s about three million men across Canada – nearly six thousand men in Lanark County alone.

The impacts of sexual trauma on individual boys and men, their families and the wider community can be devastating. Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), aggression, addictions and suicidal thoughts are just a few of the issues that commonly affect male survivors.  Yet too often the causes of men’s suffering remain unspoken, and their mental health issues go unrecognized and untreated. Why?  “The short answer is stigma and gender expectations,” says Colin Vincent, a social worker at Lanark County Mental Health. “There’s still considerable stigma around mental illness, particularly among men, and sexual abuse is even more taboo. Shame keeps men isolated. On top of that, we learn early on that being strong means keeping our feelings to ourselves and going it alone, like a character from a John Wayne movie. So men are understandably reluctant to speak about their emotional pain, or to reach out for help.” 

Enter social worker and educator Rick Goodwin, co-founder of The Men’s Project, an Ottawa organization that provides counselling services tailored to the specific needs of men and their families. Rick will visit The Table in Perth on May 13 to present a documentary film about male sexual trauma and to discuss what the healing process looks like for men who have been sexually abused.

"We’re looking forward to hosting Rick and providing a space for this important conversation around men's healing,” says Ramsey Hart, Executive Director at The Table, a co-sponsor of the event along with Lanark County Mental Health. “Learning more about men’s unique mental health struggles is a starting place. Hopefully in opening up this conversation, we’ll make it easier for men to speak out and access help in Lanark County."

The event is free and open to the public and is part of The Table’s monthly movie and discussion series. As there is on every Wednesday, a  free community meal is available from 4:30 to 6:00pm and those interested in watching in the film and joining the discussion are welcome to come early for supper. .

Healing Boys and Men, a Documentary and Discussion hosted by Rick Goodwin of The Men’s Project

For more info about the event, contact Ramsey Hart at 613-267-6428, or by email.

Register with the Advocacy Office and join us Monday May 25th for a presentation by the Health Unit on common hazards in the home. Lunch will be provided, support with transportation costs is available and participants will receive a $10 gift card for attending. Space is limited, please call 613-267-6428 ext. 29 or email advocacy@thetablecfc.org for more information or to sign up.

Register with the Advocacy Office and join us Friday May 22nd for a presentation by Lanark County Mental Health on hoarding. Lunch will be provided, support with transportation costs is available and participants will receive a $10 gift card. Space is limited, please call 613-267-6428 ext. 29 or email advocacy@thetablecfc.org for more information or to sign up. This workshop is open to both people struggling with hoarding and the people who are supporting them.

Starting Tuesday April 21st from 8:30 - 9:30 The Table will be offering a four week workshop on mindfulness and meditation. This drop-in workshop is open to everyone- from those who are experienced in the practice of meditation to those who are curious to know what it is all about- join us as we figure out how to be more mindful in our daily lives. 

Stick around after the session and join up with the Smooth Moves group as they prepare smoothies and stroll through town at 10:00

For more information please contact the Community Advocacy Office at 613-267-6428 ext. 29 or email advocacy@thetablecfc.org

 
What kinds of food do you offer to a person experiencing homelessness, couch surfing, or otherwise living without the means to prepare or keep their food refrigerated? This is a question the staff at The Table Community Food Centre have to grapple with on a regular basis. While equitable access to healthy food is their focus, and is what typically gets people to the Centre, it is rarely the only issue community members are contending with.

When Lanark County Social Housing announced a one-time grant opportunity under their Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative the Table Community Food Centre jumped at the chance to apply for funds to work toward addressing a serious social problem in our community, housing. The staff at The Table is thrilled to announce that the County has approved our request for $28,000, over two years for our Advocacy Program to work on housing issues.

Why is a community food centre addressing housing issues? The Table recognizes that participants accessing the Centre are often coping with a variety of issues over and above the need for food. While their main focus is firmly rooted in connecting people to healthy food they are also committed to assisting low income participants with other issues resulting from or exacerbated by poverty. Over the past year The Table’s Advocacy Office was open 162 days and saw 343 visits by 134 distinct community members. The number one issue people sought assistance with was housing; housing searches, homelessness, mold issues and repairs, inability to pay utilities/rent, hoarding, landlord disputes and more. 

The Table will use this grant to get creative about how they work with low income community members on issues that are known to have a high impact on community members’ ability to retain housing: addiction/harm reduction, mental health, employment opportunities, education and skill development, domestic violence, budgeting, nutrition, and more. Over the next two years The Table’s Advocacy Program will offer workshops, training and information sessions and individual support to interested low income community members. Training sessions will include workshops on tenant and landlord rights for both tenants and landlords.

One of the unique elements of the project will be developed and delivered in partnership with the Lanark County Community Justice Program. The two groups will collaborate to train peer advocates in the restorative justice model. Once trained, the advocates will apply their new skills to working with landlords and low income renters to find mutually agreeable solutions, reducing the use of the formal Landlord Tenant Board process and preventing evictions.

The Table’s Advocacy Office offers resources, support and referrals to community members on wide array of issues ranging from help replacing lost identification, filling out forms, accompanying people to appointments, assisting people in their housing search and more. The office is staffed by trained peer advocates who have their own experiences of living on low incomes and navigating social services. Anyone in need of assistance with an issue who is unsure where to go or what to do, should consider reaching out to the advocates.

A version of this post was published in the Perth Courier on March 12th.

 

 

Pages