Pictou County Roots for Youth Society
In 1998 Trinity United Church released a report on Youth Homelessness in Pictou County.
Between 1999 and 2002 - Pictou County Youth Access, an initiative under the the Pictou County Women’s Centre, identified homelessness as a priority of their work.
On March 26, 2003 the Pictou County Women’s Centre and the United Way of Pictou County co-hosted a four-hour forum on Youth Homelessness at Trinity United Church.
On April 10, 2003 at a follow up meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee became the Pictou County Youth Homelessness Steering Committee.
The Chignecto Central Regional School Board continued their commitment on this issue and sponsored a two-day regional forum in the Fall of 2003 where a Regional Working Group was formed.
Regional application to HRSDC (formerly HRDC) resulted in a Regional project (commenced in May 2004) which hired a project coordinator and five youth leaders.
The Pictou County Youth Homelessness Committee received Seed Funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) that enabled the development of a Business Plan that was completed in April 2005 and a Strategic Plan, completed in September 2005. Doug Logan was the author.
Seed Funding enabled the Committee to be eligible for a $10,000 interest-free loan, if in the position of having a housing option established for these youth. Rejection occurred as the funds were for “bricks and mortar”; not capacity building.
June 2006 - the committee’s Business Plan was presented to the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services Northern Regional Administrator and Staff.
September 2006 - the committee presented to the Pictou County Interdepartmental representatives that included but was not limited to: DSC, Justice, Health, Education, and the Complex Case Management Committee. The connection between the challenges and solutions and the Continuum of Care Working Group were made.
2006 - the Pictou County Youth Homelessness Committee wished to establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services to accomplish the goals of the Committee and the Continuum of Care Working Group. An initial meeting did not establish a MOU.
February 2007 - the Pictou County Partners for Children and Youth was initiated.
May 2007 - the Pictou County Partners drafted their Plan – Mission, Goals, and Actionable Items. Adequate Housing was one of the three subgroups developed with Actionable Items. Pictou County Youth Homelessness Committee attached itself to this subgroup.
December 2007 - the Nova Scotia government adopted the Child and Youth Strategy for children and youth at risk.
In 2008 - the Provincial government hired four regional specialists. John Ure was hired as the Youth Specialist for the Northern Region.
Spring 2008 - the subgroup was asked to do (and did) presentations in the schools. Grade 9.
Summer 2008 - an awareness demonstration (couch surfing) as a float in the Westville Canada Day parade and in front of the New Glasgow Library.
Fall 2008 - school presentations continued.
December 2008 - a workshop was held by the committee to review/re-energize the Business Plan. Doug Logan facilitated.
December 2008 to March 2009 - conversations with community leaders and elected politicians continued.
April 2009 - the committee hosted a Northern Region Workshop in New Glasgow.
May 2009 - the committee decided to formalize into a non-profit organization registered under the Nova Scotia Joint Stocks. Also, through a Job Creation Proposal by Pictou Centre for Sexual Health and a partnership with United Way of Pictou County, the committee gained access to a half-time support staff person for one year, whose office was located in the United Way office. Chrissie Adamson was hired. Her presence gave the volunteers a tremendous boost.
Summer 2009 - an awareness float appeared in Westville’s Canada Day Parade and in the Pictou Lobster Carnival Parade.
June 2009 - a mission statement and organizational goals were drafted for the new organization.
July 2009 - the name Pictou County Roots for Youth Society under Nova Scotia Joint Stocks was registered.
October 1, 2009 - the very first Annual General Meeting of Pictou County Roots for Youth was held with a great turnout!
November 2009 - St. F.X. students put on a display in Antigonish to raise awareness of couch surfing and the hidden homelessness in front of MacDonald Library, a central location on their campus. This was covered by local newspapers and radio.
November 30, 2009 – a gathering of Society members was held for pre-work that would lead to the Strategic Planning. This resulted in some public awareness strategies and the beginnings of a Marketing Plan that would be led by a group of NSCC students as a class project.
January 2010 – Pictou County Roots for Youth Society was accepted to join the national Raising the Roof Toque Campaign in order to raise awareness as well as funds to put toward the development of solutions to Youth Homelessness. Toques were on sale at various locations until the end of February.
February 2010 – Pictou County Roots for Youth Society held two strategic planning sessions to bring the society together as a whole, to get a clear picture of where they were and to determine their direction for the future. A report on these sessions was written by Chrissie Adamson.
May 2010 – Chrissie Adamson’s term of employment ended. Having Chrissie on the staff truly moved Pictou County Roots for Youth ahead and supported the volunteers.
July to November 2010 – Kelty Moser was hired as a part-time contract staff person to work on the Housing Partnership Strategy (HPS) funding application, charitable status and other activities.
October 5, 2010 – Second Annual General Meeting was held.
October 2010 – Funding application sent to HPS and offer made on a house on East River Road, New Glasgow which was accepted based on funding approval.
November to December 2010 – Bylaw hearings held at New Glasgow Town Council.
November 2010 – Strategic Plan Revised.
January 2011 – Approval was given for bylaw changes.
January 31, 2011 – Donna Smith was hired as Project Manager for HPS project.
February 2011 – Third Annual General Meeting was held.
February 10, 2011 – Purchased property at 603 East River Road.
February 14, 2011 – Federal announcement of HPS funding.
Valentine’s Day 2011 – Heart n’ Home for Youth Music Extravaganza. First major fundraiser.
February 21, 2011 – Hired Construction Manager for HPS project.
April 2011 – The house at 603 East River Road is named “Roots House”.
April 1, 2011 – Major renovations are completed on the “Roots House”. Donna Smith hired as Executive Director.
April 6, 2011 – Representatives from Roots for Youth met with the Department of Community Services to update the department about Roots for Youth and discuss “Roots” status.
April 12, 2011 – Allocation agreement signed with the United Way re: United Way funding.
May 2011 – Charitable Status application sent to CRA.
May 2011 – Crime Prevention – Department of Justice – “Backpack Survival Project” approved.
May 2011 – Presentations to the Rotary Clubs of Pictou County begin. The Rotary Clubs are very supportive and contribute to Roots for Youth.
May 2011 – Proceeds from the Progress Club’s “Survivor” fundraising event are donated to Roots for Youth.
May 9, 2011 – Meeting at the Roots House with John Ure – Child and Youth specialist with the Nova Scotia government.
May 11, 2011 – Roots for Youth participated in the Leave a Legacy Campaign and Seminar held at Summer Street Industries.
May 14, 2011 – Roots for Youth participate in the Passport to Health symposium held at the Nova Scotia Community College – Pictou Campus.
May 16, 2011 – Representatives from Roots for Youth met with MLA’s Charlie Parker, Ross Landry and Clarrie MacKinnon to discuss funding options.
June 2011 – Roots House Policies and Procedures, Staff/Volunteer Information binder, and administrative forms completed.
June 3, 2011 – “3 Year Pilot Project Proposal” submitted to the Nova Scotia Department of Community Service.
June 2011 – Meetings with Addictions, Food Security and the Centre for Sexual Health held to discuss partnership with Roots for Youth.
June 13, 2011 – Roots for Youth representatives presented at the Mayor’s meeting.
June 15, 2011 – Rural Communities Foundation grant application submitted.
July 2011 – Christian Delorey (Service Canada summer student position) hired as Youth Coordinator.
July 2011 – Roots for Youth Website created: http://www. pictoucountyrootsforyouth.com
July 4, 2011 – Roots House opened from 2:30 to 6:30, 7 days a week, as a resource centre for at-risk youth ages 16-19.
July 25-27, 2011 – Roots House is the venue for the “Girl’s Camp” hosted by the Pictou County Women’s Centre.
July 29, 2011 – Roots for Youth awareness table at the Youth Concert in Carmichael Park during the Riverfront Jubilee.
August 11, 2011 – “Facebook and Pizza”, a facebook safety information session presented by Barb Dewtie from Crime Prevention held at the Roots House.
August 13, 2011 – First Annual Roots for Youth Co-ed Lob ball tournament was held in Stellarton.
August 26, 2011 – Donna Smith’s term of employment ended. Donna was instrumental in making sure that the goal of establishing a house for our homeless youth would be firmly entrenched in our community. Donna’s ceaseless determination and initiative were very helpful in making the goals for Roots House a reality. Roots House would not be where it is today without her excellent leadership, vision and dedication.
September 2011 – Roots House hours of operation changed to 4 pm to 8 pm due to the beginning of the school year.
September 2011 – Cynthia Power hired as Program Coordinator, Janice Croft hired as weekend youth worker.
September 27. 2011 – Roots for Youth Society meeting held at NSCC.
October 2011 – Jillian Horne and Leo Gillis hired as on call casual youth workers.
October 2011 – Annual Raising the Roof toque campaign begins.
October 16, 2011 – Contemporary Services at Trinity United Church celebrates Roots for Youth.
November 4, 2011 – Representatives from Roots for Youth participate in the Kinnette’s Great Trivia Challenge fundraiser – part of the proceeds going to Roots for Youth.
November 2011 – A typical day at Roots House would see 4 to 9 youth accessing the services (meals, laundry, counselling, locker facilities, and acquiring clothing and items to furnish an apartment). Since Roots House opened 20 youth have come through our door.
November 2011 – Roots House is preparing to offer overnight service.
December 11, 2011 – First youth accessed overnight service.
February 7, 2012 - Roots House hosts an open house for the public.
February 14, 2012 - Valentine's Day. Second Heart n' Home for Youth is held at Glasgow Square.