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About Ryan's Hope
Ryan's Hope is an organization we started in memory and honour of our son Ryan Nayler. Our mission is to advocate for and support people living with mental illness, substance use issues and experiencing homelessness. We are a grassroots organization and are 100% volunteer run and community supported. Through our programs and services we are building community, connection, and confidence.
Ryan's Hope Breakfast-To-Go program
We serve a free nutritious breakfast 7 days a week downtown Barrie. We serve breakfast each day outside the Upper Hall of Collier United Church, 112 Collier Street. We serve daily from 8:00 to 9:00 am. Everyone is welcome. In addition to food we provide toiletries, socks, hats and other basic items, in addition to seasonal clothing.
This program is supported through the help of local churches and community volunteers.
Our volunteers make the rounds in the downtown area on a daily basis visiting areas where our unsheltered neighbours are providing them with basic necessities such a food, clothing, and other seasonal necessities. Our volunteers provide referrals, first aid, and sometimes just conversation and companionship.
Our peer support volunteers have lived experience they have a special understanding of the needs and challenges facing those experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and substance use challenges. They connect on a peer level built on mutual respect and trust. We also offer peer support groups for front-line workers and those that have been affected by the loss of a loved one.
Loads of Love Laundry program
In partnership with Barrie Families Unite we offer a weekly free laundry program for people in need. Our program runs Thursday from 4-8pm this evening. Volunteers provide the soap, fabric softener, and coins to help people get their laundry done. They also have drinks and snacks and are friendly people to talk to why people wait laundry to be done. For many something as simple as clean laundry is something we don't even think twice about, but for our friends that use the program it's often unattainable. This program has been a blessing to some many in our community, restoring their dignity.
Advocacy and Education
Part of the work we do is advocating for changes to Canada's failed drug laws that are costing lives and to call on our elected officials to adopt a compassion health-based approach to addressing this toxic drug crisis that includes decriminalization, safe supply, and increased funding for treatment and recovery. We advocate for better mental health supports, including increased funding for mental health and suicide awareness. As our country and community is facing a housing crisis we use our voice to advocate for increased funding for housing supports that include social housing, rent geared to income units and supportive housing. We advocate for an end to the criminalization for people who use drugs and are homeless. We organize community events and rallies to bring awareness to issues facing our community and and we speak to media and community groups about these issues. If you would like to arrange for a member of our team to speak with your group please reach out to us. We also sit on many committees and groups in our community committed to working together to find solutions to these issues.
Other work we do
As a grassroots volunteer-based organization we try our best to meet the individual needs of those we are serving. We provide connection to other community supports as needed. Thanks to the many community partnerships we have formed we are able to provide grocery support and household supplies to those that are housed, welcome kits as people become housed, supplies for those living in encampments as well as many other supports. On a daily basis we provide community, connection and compassion.
All Ryan's Hope programs are powered by human kindness!
Our Ryan was an old soul who remained young at heart. He was our little Irish leprechaun, with a magical spirit and penchant for prank. He was gifted musician, playing many instruments. He loved to sing and when he sang he sang his heart out.
Ryan had the heart of a poet and the IQ of a genius. He was highly educated earning both honours Bachelor and Masters degrees
Ryan lived with bipolar disorder and self-medicated with street drugs as the pharmaceutical medications did not work for him. Despite his, and our best efforts to get support for him we lost Ryan to a toxic drug poisoning on November 29, 2020
Even though Ryan struggled these last few years that didn’t stop him from caring about others and wanting to make a difference. I Ryan was an advocate and an activist fighting for animal and human rights for his whole life.
He will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him and his legacy will carry on the vision and values he lived by.
It is in the shelter of each other that people live.
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