Street work is probably one of the most unfamiliar and underestimated vocations. Yet this profession has not only been carried out for almost 40 years now, but street workers also adhere to a code of ethics which has been conscientiously developed by a recognized association called "Association des travailleurs et travailleuses de rue du Québec" (ATTRueQ).

For many, this line of work remains nebulous, hard to define. Some confuse street work with sex work, whereas others think a street worker is a discrete surveillance guard working with the local police force. These ideas are wrong! Working on the street instead of in an institution does not make this essential profession one bit less honourable, especially in a society which has such a hard time to reach its outcasts. As for the organism PACT de rue, the focus of its mission is on young people aged 12 to 25 coming from all cultural backgrounds and who are living difficult situations (such as poverty, broken families, violence, drug abuse, prostitution etc.) which can lead them to the streets.

Essentially, the street worker is a social worker whose job involves taking action directly on the field, to serve as a bridge between the kids having problems, the neighbourhood and the traditional help networks which are available to them (community organizations, CLSCs, hospitals, homeless shelters, job resource centres etc.). The "consultation" aspect of this profession also plays a decisive role. This is why street workers take part in developing community action plans with local partners, supporting collaborative efforts.

Three major actions direct the street worker’s job: prevention, presence and assistance. The intervention sites vary according to the youth’s habits. Street workers spend most of their time on the street, going directly where young people hang out: metro stations, parks, abandoned buildings, bars, coffee shops, shooting galleries or schoolyards. Street workers are the ones who must adapt to the youth’s environment, and not the opposite.

After establishing a first contact, the street worker’s responsibility is to be there, available and open, in order to understand the person’s needs and establish a genuine dialogue, a trust relationship. The quality of this relation and its authenticity is central to this support work. Without judging, the street worker will inform, accompany and refer these marginalized young people to the appropriate resources. Their meetings are always on a voluntary basis and confidential. They establish a "pact" which aims to improve the quality of life of these individuals by empowering them, while encouraging them to integrate into the community.

PACT de rue strives to enable this youth to develop a feeling of belonging in the community, a sense of solidarity among their peers and, above all, inspire a "let’s live better together" philosophy between generations and cultural communities. 

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