McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association of Calgary & Area
Our Story Why We Exist
“I’ll always remember that Friday”, says Jeanelle with a smile. “I just remember feeling like I was home and never wanted to leave”. Just nine days after the birth of her daughter, Jeanelle moved into Trinity House, a safe place to live for young mothers and their children while they access program supports.
Twenty two year old Jeanelle made life changing decisions those long and scary days in hospital when her daughter was born. Having tested positive for drugs, Jeanelle nearly lost her daughter in those early days, but was referred to the Youth Transitions to Adulthood (YTA) program and was given a last chance to prove she could turn things around. Since that day, Jeanelle continues to fight for herself and her daughter; living sober and building the life she had yearned for as a child.
Having grown up in foster care, Jeanelle knew that was not the life she wanted for her little girl. Neither were the abusive, unhealthy relationships that clouded her own life. “It made me realize that if I were to continue hanging around those people, the drugs, getting tossed around, where would I be? Where would my daughter be?”
Jeanelle now looks to figuring out how to juggle late night feedings with online classes and finding a daycare as her daughter grows so she can look for work. Being a parent doesn’t come with a manual and a willingness to learn has made all the difference. “Being vulnerable and asking for help is one of the hardest things someone can do and Jeanelle has done that with such grace” shares youth worker Chelsi, who has been working with Jeanelle since she joined the program. “Going from living in a random vehicle, on the street, to maintaining a home and parenting her daughter, Jeanelle’s transformation in such a short time is nothing short of incredible.”
Confident, yet humble, Jeanelle now knows what it means to work hard and see the results of those efforts. “My daughter is with the woman that gave birth to her, that fought for her and I’m ready to do whatever it takes to continue focusing on what’s best for both of us.”
Jeanelle’s story is just one of more than 2400 lives of children, youth and families’ transformed each year through McMan Calgary & Area’s more than 20 programs and support services that evoke positive changes and improve the quality of our communities.
Our Impact What We Do
On November 15 1975, Norah McNamara, John Meston, Jim Allers and Rick Newcombe, four graduates of Grant MacEwan College, opened a group home in the inner city of Edmonton. With a vision to evoke change and contribute to the community, these individuals sought to provide support to young people who required care.
The young people in that first group home were cared for within a family and home-like environment. The individual interests of the young people were fostered and visits with family were encouraged and supported. For these young people, the group home was not a placement. Nor was it just a place to live. It was a true home; a safe and caring place in which each of them was given the opportunity to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit they possessed.
This vision ultimately resulted in the foundation of McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association as we know it today, a multi-regional organization serving vulnerable children, youth and families.
Despite our evolution, the most important things have remained the same. Guided and inspired by the passion and vision of our founders, McMan has grown into a strong and vibrant agency that remains committed to empowering people to build brighter futures and strong communities. Our Strategic Direction is focused on enhancing our services, expanding programs to address gaps in services and meet community needs and continuing to grow our expertise to ensure McMan Calgary & Area remains a leader in evidence based practices.
During the 2015-16 fiscal year, McMan Calgary & Area staff provided 35,500 service hours across more than 20 programs. Of the 1200 clients we directly supported, highlights of our work making a difference in the community include:
- 48 homeless youth were provided safe and supportive housing;
- 161 youth participated in groups to enhance their social skills and self-esteem;
- 51 mothers increased their knowledge of the effects of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy;
- 206 parents with children with a disability learned strategies to keep their child safe at home and in the community;
- and 61 parents improved their capacity to care for their children.
On average, clients received 350 days of support and encouragement while working to achieve their full potential as members of their community which, since 1975, remains McMan’s mission and the foundation of our programs and services.
Our Programs How We Do It
McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association of Calgary & Area delivers more than 20 programs that evoke positive changes and improve the quality of our community.
Each year, more than 2,400 individuals are enriched by our services, which focus on family and caregiver support, youth and outreach services, homelessness and housing support, support for families with children with disabilities, and support for individuals and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). A strong team of dedicated professionals, coupled with dynamic community partners, work to create responsive programs as diverse as the individuals we support. Since 1975, our belief remains to support individuals and families with empowerment, resilience and connection, which, in turn, creates strong communities of people reaching for their full potential.
With a continuum of programs that create lasting and sustainable outcomes for clients, individuals are successfully empowered to fulfill their potential. We provide programs and support services to vulnerable children, youth and families who face challenging social issues, which may include: homelessness, mental health challenges, addiction, justice involvement, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, physical and/or sexual abuse and poverty. Additional risks could include family conflict or breakdown, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, lack of education and unemployment.
Family and Caregiver Support – Provides in-home support to families who are struggling with multiple challenges and are currently in need of intervention services by Calgary and Area Child and Family Services. As well, support is provided to families or significant others who provide care to children and youth who are unable to remain at home. Education, resources and training are provided to ensure the safety and well-being of the children and youth in the programs.
For further details of programs within this service area, visit: Family & Community Support
Youth and Outreach Services – Provides advocacy, education and intervention supports to children, youth and their families. These programs support children and youth facing issues such as youth justice involvement, sexual exploitation, challenges transitioning to adulthood and/or who may be struggling with addictions, homelessness, abuse and neglect.
For further details of programs within this service area, visit: Youth & Outreach Support
Homelessness and Housing Support– Provides youth experiencing, or at-risk of, homelessness with safe housing and additional supports are then integrated as needed to ensure youth can successfully transition to adulthood and independence. To prevent homelessness, our rapid rehousing program works to return youth home as quickly as possible or to keep them from leaving home at all.
For further details of programs within this service area, visit: Homelessness & Housing Support
Support for Families with Children with Disabilities – Supports families using a holistic, strength based approach to enhance their knowledge and skills in the areas of disability, child development, behaviour management, positive parenting, problem solving, communication, positive relationships, advocacy and community inclusion.
For further details of programs within this service area, visit: Family & Community Support
Support for Individuals and Families Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) – FASD refers to a complex range of brain injuries that can result from prenatal alcohol exposure. McMan Calgary & Area delivers targeted services that provide support to affected youth and their families, young adults, parenting moms’ affected by FASD and addicted pregnant moms to prevent further births of alcohol/drug exposed children.
For further details of programs within this service area, visit: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Our Requests What You Can Do
No child unable to stay with his natural family should be forced to grow up without kin or community involvement, or in an unstable home environment. Just as no youth exiting the justice system can be expected to thrive without support when transitioning back to the community.
A safe place to call home, having someone who will listen, knowing someone cares, a sense of belonging; with your support, these outcomes are all possible for the children, youth and families we support. Your gift or investment of time and energy supports our work Making a Difference in our Community.
Be part of our impact and help us transform lives; one child, youth and family at a time.
Donations in Action
Every gift has the power to change a life. Here are just a few examples of what your support can provide:
- $25 –Basic hygiene and comfort items for a homeless youth in our Hope Homes Program, supporting youth experiencing, or at-risk of homelessness;
- $65 – One month of transportation access for a youth in our Youth Alternative Program, for multi-risk youth who require support to live successfully in their community;
- $75 – A new car seat for a single mother in our Parent-Child Assistance Program, supporting women to prevent further births of alcohol/drug exposed children;
- $100 – One mental health support counselling session for an at-risk youth experiencing crisis;
- $150 – Access to a life skills program to prepare a youth for adulthood and independence;
- $200– One weekend of respite care for a family with a child with a disability;
- $500 – Access to GED courses and tests for a youth exiting the justice system looking to gain independence and reintegrate back into community.
- $1,000-$10,000+ - Donors have the opportunity to contribute to the sustainability and expansion of current growth programs areas, including rapid rehousing for youth to prevent entrenched homelessness, timely access to mental health supports for youth in crisis, and further integrating family finding, to increase family and natural support connections for clients across all programs.
Volunteer: Your investment of time can enhance our work across all programs. Opportunities include youth mentorship, tutoring, or direct program supports including helping clients move or practice driving, as examples. Opportunities to volunteer also include administrative support and event support such as helping with signature fundraising events, support of community events or casinos.
Join our Team: Our passionate and dedicated team of trained professionals work to transform lives. Are you looking to make a difference in our community? View our current opportunities!
Why your Support of McMan Calgary & Area Matters. Our Vision for a community where children, youth and families have the capacity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives is only made possible with the support of our generous donors, dedicated volunteers and passionate community partners. Together, we can empower vulnerables individuals to build brighter futures and strong communities!