AGM Lessons

AGM Lessons

We recently held our Annual General Meeting.  Once again I learned lessons taught by the young people we support, and those who have lived with us in the past.  I learned about hopefulness, determination, the importance of kindness.  But most importantly I was taught a lesson in humility.

I was humbled by the capacity of the human spirit and the ability of those people we support to carry on despite what can seem like insurmountable odds.  But I was also humbled by the common thread that came through from those who shared their stories with us that night.  It is the immense power of kindness and compassion to help to heal a bruised spirit in time of need.  Hope is instilled through caring and it is this hope which helps to allow the tremendous capabilities of these youth to rise and take hold.

As I listened to those stories shared with us, I was struck by the simplicity of what is at the core of our work at YWS.  In my office, I have a framed poster on the wall that was given to me by an agency I worked for previously.  It is my mantra for both the staff and for the people we support. It simply reads; Be nice.  Work hard. There is a relationship intrinsic in these two phrases.  Because sometimes one has to work hard at being nice.  In the end there is a profound effect that these two principles can have on a youth in need of kindness and hope.

YWS’s Annual General Meeting Evening of Appreciation Shines a Spotlight on Issue of Youth Homelessness

YWS’s Annual General Meeting Evening of Appreciation Shines a Spotlight on Issue of Youth Homelessness

On Thursday, September 13 at Youth Without Shelter’s Annual General Meeting/Evening of Appreciation the youth voice was front and centre reinforcing this year’s Impact Report theme of “The Multiple Facets of Youth” who call Youth Without Shelter (YWS) home. From the youth co-host to the remarkable young people who shared their very personal experiences with homelessness to the young performers who wowed us with their vocal and musical talents, the entire evening shone a spotlight on the issue of youth homelessness.

Abi spoke about her experience at YWS and the challenge of being a homeless youth: “Youth who are vulnerable and being tossed around in a world they might not have been taught to walk through. Type of people that have a world of potential but statistically are at a terrible disadvantage.”

Ruth’s speech highlighted her experience as a newcomer to Canada: “The support I received in the SIS Program as a student was overwhelming. Thank you for allowing me to be me, for making me feel accepted, supported and cared for.”

Chris a past Stay in School Program graduate updated us where his journey has taken him: “I was hired with the Toronto Paramedic Service. I contribute to society and feel very rewarded every day I help someone in a critical situation.”

Thank you to our incredible community of supporters for working with us everyday to “end homelessness, one youth at a time, one step at a time.”

To view all of the photos from this special evening please go to our Facebook Page and view the Photo Album:  AGM 2018:  Thursday, September 13, 2018. Photos credit:  Rob Blakely.