In the early part of 2024, Humboldt and Partners Family Services were announced as one of four centres in the province chosen to operate Integrated Youth Service’s (IYS) sites.  

Humboldt was chosen by the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan, coordinators of the sites, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Government. 

During the February announcement, Director of IYS Pamela Reimer talked about Humboldt and Partners as operators.  

“In having conversations and having connected with PARTNERS Family Services in Humboldt, we were very excited to be able to bring them alongside, knowing there are many young people in our communities across the province. I know within Humboldt they would definitely be so well serviced by this type of initiative happening in the community,” explained Pamela Reimer, director of IYS. 

Now that Partners has moved to its new and expanded location at 307 Main Street, the former SLGA retail outlet, the Integrated Youth Services programming is about to get into full motion. They include supports for mental health and addictions, peer support, physical health, education, employment and training, cultural and traditional supports, and social and community services. 

During Discover Humboldt’s tour of the new location, Partners Executive Director Hayley Kennedy talked about how the facility is set up to deliver an expanded set of services for young people and their supporters.  

“We are able to put in primary clinical health care as well. We have clinical exam rooms where we will have a physician that’s contracted to deliver clinical time here. The medical service room is designed to be oversized, giving consideration that some of our clients have trouble accessing systems – whether it’s health or education. The large space gives a more comfortable ‘homey’ environment.” 

The two exam rooms will contain the fittings and supplies for examination and limited treatment on site, allowing young people to receive appropriate medical care in a more holistic and less invasive manner.   

The larger space allows Partners Family Services and Integrated Youth Service to provide mutual support in a truly one-stop environment, says Kennedy. However, complete service delivery is in concert with other community agencies.  

“A key part of Humboldt’s being selected as an Integrated Youth Services site was the involvement of other community-based organizations coming together and their commitment to offering services for youth in a central space,” says Kennedy. “Humboldt Regional Newcomer Centre and Big Brothers Big Sisters were both vital to our application in bringing this to Humboldt.” 

Other organizations that have leaned into the project include Carlton Trail College, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Horizon School Division, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Humboldt and District Community Services, Sask Central Victim Services and others. 

One of the most unique and potentially powerful programs emerging is the peer support initiative. 

“It’s a new initiative for us, though it's a well-known model of care. Typically, with peer support, we bring people on to our staff – individuals who have lived experience whether it be with mental health, housing challenges or their own addictions. Peer support is a really important connection, especially for young people who may not want to access a paid professional service.” 

The peer mentor becomes that safe, non-judgmental person who can help them walk through challenges from a basis of shared experience. Rather than through a traditional job application, Hayley invites those who want to offer their skills and insight as peer mentors to reach out through Partners’ social media platforms, phone, email, or stopping into their inviting new space. 

A new home, new programs and services through IYS, new and lasting partnerships with regional and provincial organizations – it all results in a new day in service provision for Partners Family Services.