There are often many roadblocks for marginalized individuals to access services in remote and rural communities. While barriers do exist, these communities provide an opportunity for high levels of collaboration between providers as the services available are often quite centralized. This session will examine some of the challenges that result from working in a remote or rural community while shedding a light on opportunities to increase collaboration between organizations and supports for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Instructors: Rob Grant, Annika Lund (Salt Spring Island Community Services) and Michael Lethby (The RAFT)
Rob has been Executive Director of Salt Spring Island Community Services since 2004. From 1992 to 2003 he supervised youth mental health and addictions services on Vancouver Island and from 1978 to 1992 worked in Manitoba and Alberta as a youth worker, social worker, educator, and program manager.
Annika Lund has worked for Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Island Community Services since 1993 in a variety of capacities. She started working supporting adults with special needs in the Community Initiatives Day Programming and became the Program Coordinator in 2005.
Mike is an innovative leader working to create a systemic approach to addressing youth issues and youth homelessness in Niagara. He is a principal actor in moving the region’s youth service model from a reactive institutional crisis model to a preventative community model. Mike has overseen the development and implementation of Youth Reconnect (School based homelessness prevention) and Eternal Routes (Kinship finding and connection) programs as well as launching Niagara’s Housing First for Youth response. Mike was working with the Province of Ontario to launch a Social Impact Bond to support the scaling of the RAFT’s Youth Reconnect program to neighbouring communities until it was cancelled by the current government. Currently, he is overseeing the implementation of a shelter diversion program which is showing great promise in reducing homelessness.
If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Zharkyn Baiazova at