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HOP-C Sketch Design Group, January 2017
mindyourmind worked with a group of youth in Toronto that know the struggle of transitioning out of homelessness and into stable housing. These youth wanted to empower others in similar circumstances to seek help, and provide information, coping tools, tips and distractions around the issues they may be facing. Together we created “My _________”, a 92 page prompted bullet journal/survival guide! You can download and print your own journal.
The Housing Outreach Project-Collaborative (HOP-C) is a homelessness prevention project, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services, that brought together multiple service providers across the Greater Toronto Area in order to address the difficulties that youth experience in their journeys out of homelessness, including housing instability and challenges to mental health and quality of life. The HOP-C Youth Collective is a spin-off from the larger project and is run by youth for youth.
Partners: The Center for Addiction and Mental Health; the Center for Mindfulness Studies, Covenant House, Loft, SKETCH Arts and the Wellesley Institute.
mindyourmind was invited into the project to collaborate with some of the youth from the HOP-C Youth Collective to conceptualize the key content and the design elements for a “bullet journal” - style resource - like a handbook to surviving and thriving in the pathways out of the marginality of homelessness.
It’s called “My _________”. It can become whatever the user needs it to be - a planner, list of resources, journal, tool for expression….etc.. It includes tips, helpful resources, recipes, wellness inspired journal exercises and prompts, information about budgeting, health and self care and blanks space to draw, write, plan and reflect. “My _________” will be printed and distributed by our partners at Sketch and the rest of the HOP-C Collaborative. It is also available for PDF download.
In Toronto, at SKETCH Arts - in their beautiful, cool space. SKETCH is a community, arts, development initiative based in Toronto engaging young people homeless and on the margins, ages 16 to 29, from across Canada.
Young people face unique challenges when faced with homelessness, and even as they transition into stable housing their needs are complex. It’s not about just finding housing - the first several months as someone finds their path out of homelessness can present enormous strain on a person’s relationships, mental health, education, work life and financial health.
Each participant was asked to give us a quote that inspired them or spoke to them in some way:
Teresa - “It can get ugly before it gets beautiful.” - Chris Brown
Simba - "We will all die 100 years from now." #Simba
Cynn - “Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you.”
Vanessa - “I clung to your hands so that something human might exist in the chaos.” - Hélène Cixous
Marian - "No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up."
Vee - "Let go, and heal through within."
Madeleine - “Some scars are meant to be worn with pride, every day is knowledge to use in life, a lesson lived is a lesson learned.” - Hatebreed
Mardi - "I can have black lungs, but not a black heart. I'm the only one responsible for my happiness."