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Sheway . Sarah Payne Co-ordinator. Target Population. Pregnant and parenting women who live in the Downtown Eastside (and elsewhere) and struggle with issues such as poverty, substance use, violence, homelessness, legal, and in some instances, mental health issues.

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Sheway l.jpg

Sheway

Sarah Payne

Co-ordinator


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Target Population

  • Pregnant and parenting women who live in the Downtown Eastside (and elsewhere) and struggle with issues such as poverty, substance use, violence, homelessness, legal, and in some instances, mental health issues.

  • Self referral, referral from other agencies such as MCFD, Covenant House, Street Nurses, Jail etc.


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Services

  • Daily hot lunches, daily drop in, weekly food bags

  • Nutrition counseling and prenatal vitamins

  • Medical and prenatal care and postnatal care

  • Well baby care, child and adult immunizations

  • Parenting support

  • Alcohol and drug counseling


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Services

  • Contraception counseling and provision

  • STD/HIV counseling and testing

  • Baby food, formula, diapers, baby clothes when available

  • Housing advocacy and social benefits

  • Advocacy with MCFD and navigating the system

  • Practical support for securing medical care


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Service Philosophy

  • We provide services in a flexible, non-judgmental, nurturing and accepting way

  • Use a woman-centered approach

  • Respect and understanding of First Nations Culture

  • Harm reduction approach

  • Safe drop-in environment

  • Networking


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Impacts

  • Evaluation completed in 2000 by Nancy Poole.

  • Accessing prenatal care: 91% of women connected to physician or midwife at delivery (30% no care at intake)

  • Food security issues decreased to 4% 6 months post partum compared to 79% at intake.


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Impacts

  • Improvement in housing: Intake, 27% NFA, 65% housing concerns, decreased to 6 % 6 months after birth.

  • Decrease in substance misuse

  • Parenting and custody: 60% mothers with no child custody issues

  • Birth weights: 86% of women gave birth to infants with birth weight over 2500 gms.


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Best thing about the program

  • Clients say it is the relationships they build and the fact that they are not judged and are treated with respect.

  • The partnership with BC Women’s and Fir Square, continuity of care and the fact that women can room in with their infants and form long lasting attachments.


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Challenges for Sheway clients

  • Family friendly services

  • Health care when leaving Sheway

  • Housing

  • Poverty

  • Stigma


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