Connections That Work:

A project that is funded by a Skills Work grant through the Department of Community Services has bee assisting individuals at local food banks and community agencies in Dartmouth connect with key services to strengthen their ability to access services ranging from employment to mental health services.  All in an effort to improve community service navigation and assist with labour market attachment.

This project was developed as a result of a Core Service User Survey that was conducted by The Public Good Society in 2006.    At the time, 71 people using the hot meal program run by Feeding Others of Dartmouth (FOOD) were selected.  The results of the survey can be found in the Research section of this site. Briefly put, though, what was learned from the survey includes:

  • Clients know what they need.
  • Many clients want to work.
  • Clients need help connecting with available programs.
  • Clients want to be more involved with community and other people.

The results of the survey of 2006 gave some direction to the Public Good Society, as to what direction to take to meet our goal of better addressing the complex social issues facing our community. That led to the "Connections That WORK" project which focuses on participants from local food banks, the Feeding Others of Dartmouth (FOOD) program, and other community based programs in Dartmouth.   The aim of the project is to help participants connect with services that they identify as next steps towards self-reliance and employment.

This project has been successful because it supports direct contact with people who need services in an environment in which they feel at ease, and in which they do not have to go out of their way for assistance.    

Since its beginning, 1301 have been engaged and many have received ongoing support.  These client interactions have resulted in 1193 service provider contacts.  One hundred and twenty-five service provider information sessions and 180 general client information sessions have been a key part of the "Connections" strategy. Mental health, housing and employment continue to be the three main areas of enquiries & referrals.