Monday, June 6, 2011

The Living Rock

Quite some time ago, I wrote an article which was published in HistoriCITY.  The reason I am putting it on my blog is to share this information to a wider audience.

The Living Rock does a very good job with young people.  I hope you enjoy the article.

The Living Rock 

Al and Karen Craig, founders of this youth ministry which is located at Wilson and Hughson in downtown Hamilton, gave an overview of what The Living Rock is all about in a video presentation at a local church. It was most enlightening.

A short background picture may be beneficial here. In 1985, they began street work among young people in Hamilton’s downtown core.

Living Rock services youth from as young as 13 years of age to as old as 25. It has become a place of refuge, a drop in center, a food bank and a place to learn good work ethics. It has so grown that youth from the Greater Hamilton area make their way there when they are in a crisis situation.

On any given day, 50-70 youngsters sit down for breakfast at The Rock. It also has a food bank which focuses on providing food for this age group.

As one young client said, “This place is a family”. Many young people feel alienated from their families, whether by an abusive situation or other serious reasons. Many come from dysfunctional families.

At the present moment, there are 8 full time staff and also volunteers.

The goal of this organization is to help youth find their useful place in society and to try and help kids to redirect their lives

Some of their clients have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which has no cure and these clients need good supports in place just to cope. It is not an easy task to deal with people who have this syndrome and a great deal of patience is required. However, evidence has shown that F.A.S. can be overcome provided there is a good support system in place for them.

Once the clients “graduate” from the different programmes, they are still welcome to come to the Alumni programme. They are not just cast adrift.

It no longer has overnight accommodations but it does refer the youth to local shelters.

What can people do to help this very worthwhile cause?

Donate your time as a volunteer

Become a monthly donor

Your help could make a difference to a young person who is at a crossroads.

Thank you for reading about this very worthwhile cause. 


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