Downtown Calgary

HOWDYYC: Meet Baylie Simms

by Calgary Downtown Association

Baylie is the Outreach Case Manager for the Strong Voices program at HIV Community Link.

Please note: this interview was conducted prior to COVID restrictions lifting on July 2, 2021.

If you can say one thing to everyone in Calgary, what would you say?

I would say that in light of how the city is right now and what is allowed to be open, things are very strained in terms of resources and services for the vulnerable population. So, I think that there are very few places that individuals can go. The act of kindness would go a very long way for those who are not able to access things that they are normally able to get into. 

What inspires you?

My co-workers. They are very inspiring in the work they do and different programs that they all coordinate. Just watching how they interact with clients and the way they advocate for them is very inspiring for me to do just that with my own programs and my own clients.

What program is it that you and your coworkers run that change the life of so many?

There are a few different programs at HIV Community Link. I run the Strong Voices program, which is dedicated to Indigenous individuals. We also have the Shift program, which is for individuals who used to be or are currently engaging in sex work. AHSS, which is HIV support services for individuals who have positive HIV diagnoses. We have a few education programs for men, which is the HEAT programs, and the Drumbeat program which is for Black and Caribbean communities.

What is your favorite thing that you can see out of your office kitchen or train window?

At my office, I have windows into every direction and some of my windows face inwards our drop-in space, where clients can come in to find that safe space away from the elements, away from the public, to hang out. To be able to see in them in this space is my favorite view because everyone is happy to get to come in.

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