Purposes of the organization
- To advance education by providing leadership training programs and leadership opportunities to people with lived and living experience (PWLLE) of substance use, homelessness and/or the child welfare system (and their familial and social supports).
- To advance education by training first responders, teachers, social workers, and other community supports to respond effectively to the needs of PWLLE of substance use, homelessness and/or the child welfare system (and their familial and social supports).
- To promote health by providing PWLLE of substance use, homelessness and the child welfare system (and their familial and social supports) with access to and involvement/voice in the provision of programs related to peer support, individual and group counselling, employment and education, community and residential support, community engagement, and advocacy.
Life = Challenge
While it might seem logical to try to remove or avoid life’s challenges… one could say they are part of every life… even of every good life. It is a fact that everything we have, we will at some point lose. Suddenly or gradually, temporarily or permanently… in every relationship, gain and contentment, we face the possibility of rupture, loss and trauma.
Equipped to Rise to the Challenge
What helps us to still function and even thrive in the face of these inevitable hardships? More than a half-century of research has shown that just three factors not only allow individuals to bounce back, but also to grow stronger through the process of navigating challenges.
At Impact, rather than focusing on inevitable risk factors that we will all be significantly challenged by, we focus on building three reliable and evidence-based resiliency factors that are protective no matter the level of risk. These three factors form the core of all Impact’s work.
The first two factors work together:
- Caring, connected relationships
- Opportunities to participate and contribute
We think it’s best to acknowledge what participating and contributing really means… taking risks. Every time we put ourselves out there, we open ourselves up for the chance to be misunderstood, rejected, even abandoned. People who don’t feel they have caring, connected relationships they can fall back on if (and when) “participating and contributing” proves challenging… often understandably and possibly even healthily shy away from making themselves vulnerable in this way.
If they are offered opportunities in an environment where they feel supported enough to take those risks, they may be (and, in our experience, inevitably are) surprised by what they can do. They might even have to re-evaluate everything they thought was true about themselves. That leads to the third resiliency factor:
- Developing higher self-expectations
In a way, having hope and expectation is a bit like having the “placebo effect” on your side. When facing challenges, experience tells you it’s possible for you to succeed, to bounce back, to learn, to grow… to thrive.
A community that thrives by supporting its members to pursue what is relevant to their health, wellbeing and values, acknowledging and respecting each person’s unique context.
When passions, purpose or meaning are frustrated, there may be nowhere to go but toward what may look or feel like the edge. At Impact we strive to stay at the edge so there is a welcoming community for people when they are there.