Over the last two weeks I have begun visiting various communities in the County, including Clifford, Palmerston, Harriston, Mount Forest, Fergus, Elora, Erin, Hillsburgh, Marden, and Rockwood. In travelling to these communities, I have realized just how much I under estimated the size of Wellington County. Some of the people I met along this journey were very surprised that I was so far out from the Legal Clinic. These interactions reminded me of the importance being on the ground, speaking with people face to face, and learning about what their communities’ mean to them. In the grand scheme of things Wellington County might seem small, but without access to reliable transportation getting around outside of your home town can be extremely difficult. From the Legal Clinic’s location in the heart of downtown Guelph it is easy to access many other social supports on foot, and some we don’t even need to leave the building to connect with. Out in the County it’s a totally different story.
The resources that are available within walking distance of downtown cores in the County are limited and in order to access wider supports folks are forced to travel into the city of Guelph or to do with out. This is the paradigm we at the Clinic are trying to change. With the work of the Legal Health Check-up workers and our Health Leads Legal Worker, we are challenging the way services are provided to members of Wellington County. We want to be available, accessible, and on the ground so that any member of Wellington County, whether they are as far away from Guelph as Clifford or as close as Marden are able to receive the same level of support as a community member within walking distance of our Guelph office.
The Legal Health Check-up is now available at nine of the fourteen County Libraries, and by the end of next week will be at all fourteen locations in the community resource area, usually located near the main entrance of each library. We are working on continuing to expand our partnerships with local Family Health Teams throughout the County, and deepen our connections to those we are already connected with. Speak with your family health team about connecting with us over the telemedicine network; this is an important option for connecting, especially if you are facing a housing or income crisis. The Clinic is also socially connected through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to better ensure our visibility to community members.
Remember we want to reach you where you are and provide accessible service to all members of Wellington County. If you have questions or need to contact us please feel free to do so by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 519-821-2100 or toll free: 1-800-628-9205. Pick up a hard copy of the Legal Health Check-up or fill it out online: https://www.legalhealthcheckup.ca/
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