Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) is pleased to be part of Kindred’s #12days4good! On our #12days4good day, CJI is offering Sidewalk Talk at Kitchener City Hall. Sidewalk Talk got its start in San Francisco a few years ago and now takes place in 19 different cities around the world. Sidewalk Talk uses trained volunteers to build community by providing a willing pair of listening ears.

CJI is a non-profit organization that uses restorative practices to provide conflict resolution services, support for people impacted by sexual trauma, assistance for families involved with child protection services, and reintegration support for women and men returning to the community from prison or custody. All our programs are grounded in Restorative Justice—a way of addressing conflict and crime that engages the person who caused the harm, people who were affected by the harm, and the community.

 “It could be a grandma wanting to brag about the birth of her new grandchild or it could be a person on the street who is really struggling that day,” says Marie-Jose van der Zande, the coordinator of the project. “It’s just a place to go where people care. Where people will listen. Ten to 15 minutes of whatever is on people’s minds.”

The holidays can be a challenging time for people who feel disconnected from their communities. CJI wants to improve community well-being by increasing our connections to one another. If we improve someone’s well-being by providing a safe space where they can be heard, we in turn improve the well-being of the community. So stop by and visit us—have a hot chocolate and tell us what’s on your mind.

Check out our #12days4good activity on social media!