Father Andre is Lead Chaplain at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. Two active gang members who had participated in community outreach presentations with Andre expressed their desire to leave their gangs and wanted support from him as they worked to change their lives. This was how STR8 UP began – with Andre and a growing number of men, women, and youth who relied on him for support, counseling, and a community connection.
Andre retires from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre but continues doing community presentations and involves STR8 UP members in these by asking them to share their stories and experiences with the community.
DEVELOPING A VISION
Father Andre meets Stan Tu’Inkuafe, then a youth worker with the John Howard Society. Together they developed the conditions for STR8 UP Membership and the organization’s Visions & Goals and STR8 UP becomes an outreach program under the umbrella of the John Howard Society.
A NEW CHAPTER
STR8 UP leaves the John Howard Society to branch out on our own.
STR8 UP incorporates as our own non-profit and registered Canadian charity. This has enabled us to expand our outreach services, introduce new programs, provide advocacy and support in correctional facilities and courtrooms and connect members with other community supports and resources.
STR8 UP now has 3 full time and 2 part time staff, over 150 members and many programs and services.