Little Things

Two care specialists share how donations sometimes mean survival.


Some try not to notice them. Others choose to ignore them. They seem to easily fall through the cracks. They’re the people who often require inpatient care but are living without a home while trying to manage acute mental health issues. 

Nicole Tomiuk and Keith Lang are Care Managers with the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team operating through Alberta Health Services. The street team offers wrap-around services to nearly 500 people in urban Edmonton who might otherwise would go without care. Funding from the Mental Health Foundation’s Little Things appeal supports the team.

Both Keith and Nicole speak of the difficulties of gaining and building trust with the hundreds of clients they serve each year. Isolated from family, many of these people have nowhere to go. Living in extreme poverty, they are over-represented in jails. They are in need of treatment but they need to break the cycle before that can happen, which can start with building trust.

Items from Little Things, as simple as a coffee, bus pass, or meal, can be all it takes to open the door to an important conversation between a care worker and someone living without a home.

The team celebrates small successes. Success can look different for each individual—from someone’s first meal in days, obtaining identification, or getting a job. Little Things can make a HUGE impact.

The ultimate goal is stabilization, reconnecting with loved ones, and rebuilding dignity. 

Assertive engagement and extensive community outreach approaches are used to assist individuals
in achieving sufficient recovery to access and participate in other programs and services.

Call 780.342.76001

108th Street Mental Health Clinic, 9942 108 Street NW, T5K 2J5