Sleep A Night Under My Roof (take 2)

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 8:30am

The Table to Host Second “Sleep A Night Under My Roof” Training Day for Social Service Workers

On November 22nd, the Table Community Food Centre will be hosting a freen all-day workshop for frontline workers and service providers called “Sleep A Night Under My Roof”.  The event takes place from 8:30-3:30 at Lion’s Hall and will include yummy healthy snacks and a delicious luncheon with gluten free vegan and nut free options prepared by the Twisted Fork. We held a similar event back in May of this year, and received such positive feedback that we have decided to run it again, so that those who missed it the first time might have a chance to participate. This time, in addition to service organizations from Lanark County, we are also opening up admission to those in Leeds and Grenville and Ottawa. We are also inviting our local members of parliament and town councils.


This initiative is funded through the Law Foundation of Ontario, and is a Connecting Communities program designed to help raise awareness of and educate frontline workers on tenant and housing rights under the law. The training is based in an experiential learning activity that gives participants firsthand knowledge of the kinds of issues that lower income community members face related to housing.  Event coordinators Vicki MacMillan and Tracey Parker have developed the program based on the popular Homelessness Maze, first created by the Canadian Mental Health Association and further adapted by local Health Units and Algonquin College Perth for use across Ontario. To ensure the relevance and accuracy of the training, the Table is working with people with lived experience to get their input on the scenarios.  Event partners - the Legal Clinic, Lanark County Interval House, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit and YAK - will also be providing input. Armed with this input, participants will know that all the stories and information shared are based on real lived experiences that could happen here in Lanark County. Participants will receive a local resource booklet that they can take back to their agencies after the workshop. The booklet will be formatted in a way that is easy to share with co-workers and is easy to replicate so the resource can be widely shared.


The morning portion of the workshop will give participants the opportunity to not only learn but experience directly the kinds of housing issues that many low-income community members face.  The frontline workers participating in the training will be put into small groups and each group will be assigned a character and given ahis/ her background story.  The participants will then proceed to  work their way through ‘the system’ by visiting relevant agencies, set up in kiosks around the room, as they try to try find assistance and support in order to meet their needs. After this experience in trying to get information and help, the group is brought back together to discuss and reflect on the experience by exploring how their character felt and identifying the issues, obstacles and challenges that they confronted during the morning exercise. The afternoon portion of the workshop will provide important, basic information about housing law and the Residential Tenancies Act including such topics as: evictions, maintenance and repairs, harassment and discrimination, rent increases, moving out, tenant belongings and more. The framework for learning about the law will be the issues and challenges that were identified in the morning activity and will respond to resolving the housing problems that the various characters tried to work through in the morning.  The workshop session will end with participants having a chance to debrief both about the full experience of the day, as well as providing feedback about how they think they can best use the training materials and the resource booklet. Participants will have the chance to get to know about the Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Legal Clinic throughout the day and there will be some opportunity for open discussion with the clinic staff where participants can ask questions and discuss future collaboration and partnership opportunities with the clinic.


To make the day as authentic as possible we would love to have as many services represented as we can. The service representative would need to bring any pamphlets or handouts explaining what their service does, along with your intake forms and so on. People will come to their table and they are to give the referrals that you would on a normal day. 


The Sleep a Night initiative will also bring participants of the first event in May back to a second half-day session on November 23rd, at the Perth library, to talk about the successes that they have had in using the new legal information that they gained through the training.  This meeting will be a unique opportunity to get feedback on the impact of the training, input as to the usefulness of the training materials and to find out about any other related issues that can be addressed by local resources.  Reconvening the group will also provide an opportunity for participants to further network and collaborate in relation to a range of issues including housing related community action initiatives, further training opportunities and building professional supports.


If you are a frontline worker and service provider who is interested in attending please register at Eventbrite.

If you are interested, please contact us at, and we will be happy to answer all of your questions.


Perth Lions Club - Halton St. (Perth Fairgrounds)

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