Public awareness campaign for uphub.ca, York Region’s community resource navigator for local services in mental health, addictions, and developmental disabilities, launches
On Friday morning, York Support Services Network (YSSN) launched a public awareness campaign for uphub.ca with a flag raising ceremony and official proclamation issued by the Town of Aurora designating September 10th Up Your Life Day.
Local MPPs, the Hon. Christine Elliott and Michael Parsa, as well as Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas were on hand to celebrate people in the community working together to move their lives up the next level, whatever that next level might look like for them.
The event kicks off the release of the new digital version of the Up Your Life guide, which is now available as a free download to anyone who needs it. It’s a valuable resource designed to help vulnerable people in York Region more easily access community services.
The Up Your Life guide is a handy companion to uphub.ca, York Region’s community resource for local services in mental health, addictions, developmental disabilities, and much more. It’s also a peer-based platform for people to share their stories and uplifting experiences to help others.
“In the two years since the first Up Your Life Day, we have seen the incredible impact uphub.ca has had in supporting vulnerable community members to find and access the services they need,” said Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora. “Our government is proud to work with organizations like York Support Services Network to support initiatives that provide community members with the tools and services they need to reach their full potential.”
The Up Hub project is the result of a three-year, $457,600 Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Grow grant obtained in 2017 that was extended due to the pandemic.
“I was delighted to attend the flag raising ceremony celebrating Up Hub’s impact in the local community,” said Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill. “YSSN and Up Hub are helping people in York Region who are seeking social services or in need of support by connecting them with the community resources they need most. I’m proud that the Ontario Government and OTF were able to support this project.”
Uphub.ca and the Up Your Life guide house a digital and print directory of over 400 community resource listings, tips, personal stories of struggle and resilience and other helpful information for people living in York Region.
The directory features listings for food banks and pantries, emergency shelters and housing, gently used clothing and furniture and much more, reflecting changes to services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes new sections for youth, newcomers, abuse survivors, seniors, 2SLGBTQ+ folks, new mothers, First Nations, Métis and Inuit and other vulnerable groups.
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, YSSN was able to process and distribute over 12,760 print copies of the guide to partner agencies and individuals in the community.
“Up Hub and the supports that sprouted from it were inspired by and created in partnership with peers or people with lived experience with mental health and addictions,” said Kimberly Thorn, Executive Director of YSSN. “On Up Your Life Day, we celebrate connecting people in York Region with the tools and services they need to move forward on their wellness journey, and we’re filled with gratitude for the OTF Grow grant that allowed us to breathe life into this project.”
York Support Services Network (YSSN) YSSN communicates, connects, and collaborates with people who live with serious mental illness and/or a developmental disability. We help them, alongside their families and caregivers, develop relationships and connections to their community, which benefits their overall well-being. Through 310-COPE and our 24/7 Crisis support, case management, peer mentorship, and access services, we connect people with the services and supports they need to achieve their goals and live a full and meaningful life. www.yssn.ca
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Please visit: otf.ca