everyone deserves home

Empowering clients at the Downtown Community Centre

February 14, 2024

“At Cool Aid, we meet people where they’re at,” Warren Bailey says. “So when clients told us they needed more opportunities to talk openly about their struggles, we organized a peer connections group at the Downtown Community Centre.”

As the group’s facilitator, Warren leads the weekly lunchtime sessions made up of participants dealing with homelessness, substance use, and poverty. “This group is close to my heart,” he adds. “I’ve been sober for seven years and I know how important it is to build trust and share your story with like-minded people.”

The peer connections members meet around a table in the gym of the DCC, enjoying sandwiches, juice, and each other’s company. Mike, a regular who describes himself as “in recovery” says, “Coming gives me something to look forward to. I’m an introvert and it’s hard to talk, but here I’m part of something. I’m not isolated anymore.”

For members fighting to stay sober—but not comfortable attending other groups—peer support provides an accessible alternative. “It’s all about listening, respect, and empowerment. And we’re right in the middle of town. Everyone is welcome,” Warren says.

You help make client-centred programs a reality at the DCC and throughout our community. Thank you for your generous support.