A Sustainable Approach
This program is a gift because it has provided people with the sense of trust and safety to start to learn some more sustainable approaches to the world.
Amanda Dorter, IM&M+ Facilitator, KEYS Job Centre, Kingston, Ontario
From Feeling Stuck to Moving Forward
For nearly a decade, In Motion & Momentum+ (IM&M+) has been transforming lives and communities across Canada. It is an innovative action-oriented program that supports individuals at a pre-employability stage of their careers. This strengths-based program is all about providing experiences and opportunities for those that may have experienced repeated setbacks with respect to traditional learning and/or work. It helps them reconnect with their potential, take charge and live the life they want to live.
IM&M+ is a 13-week/three-module program explicitly created for those who are at a pre-employability stage of their careers. It was created to fill a foundational skill development gap that, left unfilled, results in recidivism, clogs the entire service ecosystem and detrimentally affects employers across industry sectors. Participants can choose to launch from the program whenever they are ready. IM&M+ supports people to move from feeling stuck to achieving their goals.
What Matters: IM&M+'s Guiding Principles
Nobody Chooses Poverty: Poverty is degrading, humiliating and no one chooses to be poor. In the modules, we wanted to explicitly address the blame and judgement often associated with poverty.
Participants are ABLE: It seems simple, but if we don’t fundamentally see participants as capable of success, everything changes. IM&M+ participants are resilient, adaptable, creative, flexible, courageous, innovative and skilled. They have a wealth of life experience, skill and wisdom. They are the experts on their own life and the architects of their own future. They have an enormous amount to teach each other and teach us. IM&M+ facilitators are guides, supporters, encouragers, challengers and co-learners.
Building Positively on Strengths and Challenges: IM&M+ is strengths and solutions focused. It builds on Newton’s laws of physics which suggest that it’s easier to redirect existing motion than to get motion started. We recognize that participants are all already in motion – they are living lives, making decisions and moving in a direction already. The strategy in the modules is to help to redirect it if it’s going in a direction they don’t want.
Trust, control and risk: Trust is a precious gift that is earned through respect, consistency, disclosing appropriately and risk-taking (including by the facilitator), providing a safe and accepting environment where expectations are clear and control is shared equitably. The space is co-owned and co-created.
A holistic approach to health: The integration of health is an important element throughout the program– sharing meals, integrating physical movement and daily brain gym activities support participants to begin to personalize discussions around healthy habits.
Change is a Process: The whole series is built based on Prochaska's Change Theory, recognizing that personal transformation doesn’t happen overnight or at the same pace for different people. IM&M+ normalizes the change process – acknowledging that starting is hard and setbacks can happen. The program sets out to nurture seeds of hope in everyone and reinforce that everyone is always working on something – there is no perfect endpoint.
It takes a community: Finally, such transformation is fostered when everyone is coming together – all seeking to move positively. This means the active collaboration and contributions of the facilitators, their organizations, community partners and participants.