Boyle Street helps people, builds community
Boyle Street Community Services has been working in the inner city of Edmonton since 1971 to serve, support, and empower people to take control of their lives and escape the cycle of poverty and homelessness. In 1976 the organization became a registered charity under the name Boyle Street Service Society. Boyle Street Community Services provides over 40 programs and services to over 12,000 individuals every year.
The mission of Boyle Street Community Services is to build and provide community support for people with multiple barriers to inclusion. Our vision is to see that all people grow healthier through involvement in strong, accepting and respectful communities.
Many of our daily clients are either sleeping rough or in shelters. They are all, without exception, extremely poor, and many of them are marginalized because of their ethnicity and their poverty. Because of the challenges of street life, we focus on providing cultural, outreach, mental health, housing, family and youth, and employment services. Our inclusive Drop-In complements these services and provides our community a place to enjoy great food, warmth, and companionship.
We offer a variety of housing and shelter options in Edmonton ranging from group homes designed to support at-risk youth to a 62-unit apartment building which houses many people who were previously homeless.
We also partner with other agencies to provide services that complement those offered by Boyle Street Community Service. These range from child and youth programs to needle exchange and health supports for street involved sex trade workers.
At the heart of our work, we listen, care and empower our clients in order to assist them to find solutions to their challenges. Our community members are diverse, and we welcome everyone. We serve adults, youth, and families and are proud to act as a knowledgeable resource for Aboriginal, LGBTQ and new immigrant communities.
Boyle Street operates under a set system of values created in conjunction with our community:
- We never give up even if the challenge is tough, seemingly impossible
- We stand with our community members, side by side, patiently and for as long as they want – a constant and consistent caring force.
- Giving and receiving is a two way street at Boyle Street – our community members share many gifts with great generosity and open hearts.
- Boyle Street is a home, a family, a village – a place of safety, trust, love, welcome and also a place with all the challenges that a home, a family, and a village bring.
- We are there for our colleagues, supporting them, valuing their unique contribution to our community.
- Everything we do matters and the little things are just as important as the big ones – a small gesture can have a great impact on another’s life.
- Our work is always ongoing and that is OK.
- We share much in common and that connectedness of experience is a strength to be recognized, celebrated and drawn on.
- We are many nations, many beliefs, many walks of life coming together, seeking to understand each other, accepting each other and enjoying each other for what we are and for where we are at.
- The Creator is with us, the spirits soar within us and the culture of the First Peoples surrounds and protects us. We value our history as an agency and reflect on our past for guidance in moving forward – we value the experience and wisdom of our community elders.
- Despite great challenges we believe unhealthy cycles can be broken, new opportunities created and, through healing, health restored.
- Each member of our community is deserving of a full measure of dignity, support, and respect.
- We honour our community’s resilience and celebrate and recognize our individual strengths and uniqueness.
- We advocate and educate creatively and innovatively at many levels for justice for all.
- We believe that life is too serious to be taken seriously and humour is a central part of our life and work at Boyle Street.