In partnership with Shalem Mental Health Network, WrapAround exists in Hamilton as a growing grassroots support network that assists individuals and families in finding solutions to complex needs. WrapAround Hamilton is a faith-based and community-based process that places families in charge of their own lives. The goal is to make life better for these families who are struggling in many diverse situations.
Many WrapAround families have multiple needs including financial, emotional and family needs, physical and mental health needs, homelessness and housing needs, hospitalization and crisis needs, vocational needs and immigration needs and needs for cultural and spiritual support.
We asked Rachel Scott to reflect on her experience offering WrapAround support. Here is what she writes:
My name is Rachel, and in January 2014, I joined this amazing and dedicated WrapAround team in Hamilton. I am working primarily in the Jamesville community—a neighbourhood that is incredibly community-centered, strong, lively, and in many ways, vulnerable. There are five families in this neighbourhood that WrapAround Hamilton is presently involved with. One family that I have been working with over this past year has been very dedicated to the WrapAround process. This family is gaining great support because of their willingness to invite others to journey with them through their difficult times.
This mother has changed in so many constructive ways, not just because of WrapAround, but because of her willingness to learn and grow, and the supports that she has put in place for her son along on the way! We have seen an amazing shift in her confidence as a mother. She is self-assured in making good decisions for her and her family, she is able to communicate and stay calm and can problem solve with her son when he is having a difficult day. She has learned many strategies to work with his mental health needs in a way that empowers him and gives him dignity. She has been seeking the advise of trusted supports on her team and puts into action the parenting strategies she is learning. Because of these interventions and supports around her, she is becoming less vulnerable and is able to strengthen her family with the skills she is honing.
I am convinced that the positive change which occurs through the WrapAround process in our community is significant since we are a service that steps outside of the typical “service-provider box” and into the houses, living rooms and communities of the families whom we support. We step into their lives, we assist them in their need, and we follow their lead and give power to their voice. Many families tell us that this unconventional approach is what they need and appreciate in their lives—it makes all the difference to them.
With WrapAround, we are able to serve in ways that other services are not capable of. For many families, WrapAround feels like “family.” It provides that intuitive and natural community support that we all crave and want to be a part of. Because of this dynamic community approach in assisting families with complex needs, the Hamilton Community Foundation has recognized us as a community mobilizer, and has been supporting us financially in specific neighbourhoods in the lower city. We are able to ‘wraparound’ our community in very creative ways. We are very excited about our upcoming church-based training for volunteers to be certified WrapAround facilitators. Please pray with us that the Lord will lead people to volunteer that are willing to support families in these neighbourhoods.