What is Freeman House?

 

Freeman House is about supporting every Youth and Family across diversities of unique experience, culture, and LGBT2Q+ identities to be included in a safe and sustainable community, and to be contributors to a diverse and thriving region.  Freeman House and local Community Hub coordination of support and Services, are intended to help underserved Youth, Adults and Families access the Services they identify are needed to prevent problems and help them get on with their lives.  Supports at Freeman House include

  • Community Hub Coordination of Support & Services
  • Youth Outreach 16+
  • Family Support
  • Men’s Violence Intervention and Men’s Support
  • Family Court Supervised Access and Exchange
  • Housing Support 
  • Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care
  • In addition, Freeman House is a member of the local community Sexual Assault Services network intended to increase visibility of supports available in the community and help with navigation

 

The Youth Outreach Program provides Youth 16+ with

  • Drop in
  • Crisis management
  • Counselling
  • Programs and workshops
  • Referral support
  • Links to Mentoring
  • System support & navigation (e.g., education, employment…)
  • Housing support
  • Nurse Practitioner primary health care
  • Creative outreach meeting Youth where they are

 

Family Support provides Families with

  • Family work
  • Family Conferencing
  • Family programs and workshops
  • Reunification support
  • Support for Youth leaving Care

 

The Men’s Intervention Program provides

  • Individualized intervention addressing immediate risks within a coordinated community response
  • Preventive personal care plans informed by unique experience and the social determinants of health
  • Men’s peer support, group programs and workshops
  • Individual and peer support addressing men’s unique experiences of violence, sexual violence, and trauma

 

The Community Hub supports a consistent, coordinated Continuum of practice that brings together service providers across program areas to

  • Respond to practice issues and systems challenges
  • Participate in weekly ongoing collaborative case management
  • Organize case conferencing together with Youth and Families

 

Achieving Prevention & Health Promotion together:

Our work with Youth, Families and the Community Hub provides a unique opportunity to respond from Prevention & Health Promotion perspectives.

  • Together with Youth, we can support the development of healthy relationships skills, mentoring, and safe community building
  • Together with Families and Adults we can address the prevention of family violence and violence against children in the home
  • And together with Community Hub partners we can support community efforts to link Intervention with Prevention, Early Intervention, and Health Promotion 

 

 

 

FSWNS Men’s Intervention Services in Lunenburg County and the Western Region

The Men’s Intervention Program housed at Freeman House in Lunenburg County addresses men’s use of violence within a coordinated community response. In addition, the Men’s Intervention Program is located within a collaborative Community Hub approach that also includes Youth Outreach, a Family Program, and coordination of local services. This Community Hub approach can connect underserved men and families with an additional range of risk reducing, safety enhancing supports as needed, spanning the Social Determinants of Health. These supports may include: food security, education, employment, housing support, community inclusion, and attention to areas of underservice that impact on men’s adult relationships, such as men’s historical experience of violence and sexual abuse. This effectively links Intervention with Early Intervention, Prevention and Health Promotion. The goal of the Men’s Intervention Program at Freeman House is to address risk within this coordinated and comprehensive community response, and, support men, families and our communities in moving forward safely and sustainably.

Men’s Intervention Services are also provided on an Outreach basis at sites including Liverpool, Caledonia, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Middleton, Kentville, and Windsor.  We meet with a wide diversity of people in relationships with friends, partners, families and communities.  You do not have to be referred by others.  You can simply call us and book a time to meet, to see if we are a fit for you.  Click here to go to our contact information.  Please note these conversations are free.

And we support all people to access the supports they identify are needed in response to Sexual Violence and Trauma

We have learned a lot about the importance of practical, genuine collaboration in response to the rights violations and underservice many youth and adults face.  We’ve also learned from our communities about widespread experiences of sexual abuse, violence, and trauma, across inequities of gender, ability, sexuality, diversity and culture.  We’ve learned a lot about the invisibility of sexualized violence, especially in the lives of underserved populations.  As one man said, “Everybody sees the man, but nobody sees the little boy who was being abused.”

The majority of people accessing our services have experienced violence and sexualized violence.  But most do not want to be identified as a “Survivor” or be expected to participate in a traditional “Survivor” group.  We provide supports responding to young and adult men’s experiences of sexual violence in the ways that fit for them and honour their knowledge and resilience. We have been providing these supports for over a decade, within a community that collaborated and pioneered this work locally from the 1990’s forward.

Family Service of Western Nova Scotia, based in Freeman House in Bridgewater, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, was created in 2014 by the Board of Alternatives Association in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services. It is an innovative product of the learning we’ve achieved together in the Province in the past two decades about the importance of Community Capacity Building linking Violence Intervention with Health Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention.

Freeman House is a prototype for supporting underserved Youth and Families in the community. By underserved we mean the many people who typically do not access existing community supports, due to reasons including: lack of community understanding, stigma, shame, exclusion, and past and present experiences of interpersonal and systems violence. Engaging with underserved Youth and Families through Freeman House and our Youth Outreach Services in Lunenburg County does not involve engagement “strategies”. Instead, it’s very practical work of listening, consulting with the people we are expected to serve, and responding together to their individual, interpersonal, and social realities. All of our services are free of charge.

Our funders and supporters include

  • Nova Scotia Department of Community Services

Nova Scotia

 

 

 

 

  • Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness

Nova Scotia

 

 

 

 

  • United Way of Lunenburg County

UWLC

 

 

 

 

  • Nova Scotia Department of Justice

Nova Scotia

The Freeman House Men’s Shed Survey

Men’s Sheds have been developing around the world. They are places where male-identifying people can come together in a safe and friendly environment, regardless of age, culture, ability, sexual orientation, identity, income, or employment status. Men’s Sheds are places where men can share food and coffee, talk about things that are important to them, receive and give support, and help themselves and those they love. Men may also work on projects, share knowledge and skills, and learn through doing things together. Each Men’s Shed is slightly different. Experience shows that Men’s Sheds can benefit men, the people they may love, and our communities, in many ways.

This Survey is an electronically fillable form for male-identifying people, with boxes to indicate choices, and text boxes to add as many thoughts as you would like. Click on the link or the photo below to download it. Or print it and complete it by hand. We are looking for your ideas. Fill it out, and mail it back to us at admin.fswns@bellaliant.com  Or mail us a paper copy at PO Box 131, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia B4V2N1

Freeman House Men’s Shed Electronic Survey