Thank you for creating change through Time4Change2019

Thank you for creating change through Time4Change2019

“My life was in shambles. In 4 short months YWS gave me all the help and love I could receive. And to you guys out there today in 32 degree cold, you are out there helping people, and that is what it is all about helping other humans. Thank you.”

(As shared by YWS Youth at T4C 2019 Showcase, Tangerine Downtown Café)

Thank you for creating critical awareness about youth experiencing homelessness in our city through your participation in Time4Change Day 2019, presented by Tangerine.

On a very cold Friday, February 1, close to 600 volunteers raised their voices at 27 canvassing locations calling for change one youth at a time, one step at a time, one donation at a time. Students, schools, service clubs, actors, families, employee groups, artists, countless individuals all came together as a community of support for youth.

 T4C art activism challenged the public to “hear their stories” through spoken word, theatre, music, art, dance and film.  These powerful stories developed under the leadership of T4C Artistic Co-ordinator Naomi Tessler of Branch Out Theatre and many committed professionals including: dance artist Zita Nayardy; spoken word artist Lamoi Simmonds; filmmaker Paul Davis; and multi-disciplinary artist, Yavni Bar-Yam.

Working with Time4Change to break the cycle of youth homelessness are a group of committed sponsors.  Our thanks to:  presenting sponsor and partner, Tangerine; Art & Activism Experiences Sponsor, Mantella Corporation; T4C Friends Sponsor, Hudbay Minerals; T4C’er Sponsor, Canadian Scale Company Limited; Matching Challenge Sponsor, Outliers Mining Solutions; media sponsors Pattison Outdoor, OneStop, Faren Agency and 102.1 The Edge; and T4C Cookie Sponsor, The Bake Sale.

Thank you to the multitude of venues who welcomed Time4Change Day into their spaces:  the TTC, Brookfield Place, Bay-Adelaide Centre, CBC Broadcasting Centre, College Park, Royal Bank Plaza, 10 Dundas East, 25 York Street, Toronto Dominion Centre, Yonge Eglinton Centre and the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area.

Time4Change is very much about the conversations that are the beginning of change to come such as the elderly woman who told a volunteer: “I could have used YWS when I was young” and shared her story; and the questions young students had of the YWS youth speaker at the T4C Showcase.

Together as T4C’ers you raised $88,000 to support essential transit fare costs and wrap around programming at Youth Without Shelter to enable each youth in our care to transition to stable, independent living.  This transit fare will support youth as they strive for their educational goals, search for employment and find a home to call their own.

Time4Change does not end on February 1st, you can still make change throughout February through #time4change2019 by: texting CHANGE to 45678 to donate $10 to Youth Without Shelter. FYI no standard text messaging fees are incurred by mobile users to initiate and complete a text message donation. No portion of any amount donated is held by participating wireless providers. Donations are passed through at 100% back to YWS.

T4C Day photos – visit the Youth Without Shelter Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ywstoronto/

One youth at a time, one step at a time, thank you.

This holiday season you’ve embraced the youth who call YWS home

This holiday season you’ve embraced the youth who call YWS home

As we head into 2019, our thanks to you, the Youth Without Shelter community of support, you make amazing happen here each and everyday. This holiday season you’ve embraced the youth who call YWS home through multiple acts of caring and giving from vintage clothing sales, Ugly Sweater Parties, workplace fundraisers, food drives, homestyle meals, classroom activism, concerts to name a few. When no one is expecting them home this holiday season, together we all have. Jenny, past YWS resident shared through #welcomehomeyws (www.welcomehomeyws.ca) “Anytime I needed help I could count on them, they never judged me. They always respected me, knew I had bigger dreams…to me #yws in 3 words: encouraging, helpful, inspiring.” Recently a YWS youth expressed their experience with homelessness in this way: “I honestly didn’t think I would make it. I was in a really bad place. Traumatized and damaged #yws changed my life for the better. I learned not only to care for myself but for my future. Thanks to you.” From our house to yours wishing you a year of new beginnings.

Youth Without Shelter makes the Top 100 Charity List with MoneySense

Youth Without Shelter makes the Top 100 Charity List with MoneySense

MoneySense has released its annual Top 100 Charity List to assist donors in making informed decisions during the busy 2019 holiday season.  Youth Without Shelter is one of those charities – and is recognized as the top charity in the youth category.  The ranking is based upon financial transparency (both fundraising and charity) and social results transparency (how donations are being used to create impact, and the sharing of that story).

You can view the complete list and YWS’s ranking by clicking here.  

To discuss how your gift can build a foundation for each youth at YWS to reach their potential, please contact our Development & Engagement Office at 416.748.0110 ext. 26 or communications@yws.on.ca.

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.

Partnering with The Pinball Clemons Foundation

Partnering with The Pinball Clemons Foundation

 

Excited to partner with The Pinball Clemons Foundation on their commitment “to empowering youth through education by taking them from the margins to the mainstream.”

What does this mean for the youth who call YWS home?  Youth through the combination of YWS’s wrap around approach and the commitment of The Pinball Clemons Foundation will lead their own journey, achieving educational goals and laying a foundation for the career they strive for.  Specifically, funds from The Pinball Clemons Foundation will enable YWS to:

  • Launch a Peer to Peer Mentorship Program in the Stay in School Program
  • Expand Life Skills and Culinary Programming
  • Equip the weekly YWS Fitness Boot Camp with essential equipment

Thanks to The Pinball Clemons Foundation we are closer to ending homelessness….one youth at a time, one step at a time.

“My social worker directed me to Youth Without Shelter’s Stay in School Program. I applied to the program and was welcomed in. For the ten months I stayed there, I felt absolutely comfortable and safe; everyone was so kind and welcoming. With them I managed to graduate with honors….With the help of YWS I was able to set money saving goals so I have money. I learned how to prepare quick, cheap and simple meals. I’m now paying my own way and turning into a pretty efficient adult. ” (H., past Stay in School Program resident) 

 

 

 

How The Home Depot Canada Foundation is helping put an end to youth homelessness with “Paper Doors”

How The Home Depot Canada Foundation is helping put an end to youth homelessness with “Paper Doors”

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is committed to ending youth homelessness, pledging to invest $20 million over five years through The Orange Door Project. This initiative will give homeless youth the housing, support and hope they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives.
One component of The Orange Door Project is The Home Depot’s national fundraising campaign.  From now until July 2, The Home Depot customers can buy a $2 paper door in support of a local youth-focused housing charity.

All funds raised at The Home Depot Rexdale store during the campaign will support Youth Without Shelter. Encourage your friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues to support the campaign today!

Learn more at orangedoorproject.ca

The Home Depot Canada Foundation announce 2017 partnership

The Home Depot Canada Foundation announce 2017 partnership

Today, The Home Depot Canada Foundation announced a 2017 partnership with Youth Without Shelter (YWS) with an investment of $125,000. The Home Depot Canada Foundation focuses on supporting initiatives that prevent and end youth homelessness through renovation and repair projects and programs that provide youth access to safe, stable shelter and support services.  This gift of $125,000 provides essential project and program funding to Youth Without Shelter.  Funds have enabled the replacement of the shelter’s kitchen walk-in combination freezer and refrigerator.  The YWS kitchen is the “heart of our home”, a 24 hour operation offering three meals and two snacks daily and facilitating life skills learning.  The program funding supports the continued enhancement and growth of YWS’s Employment Program. Priority areas identified by youth in the employment program include the need for increased support with pre-employment trainings, workshops and certifications.

Team Depot is on-site today sharing their energy and skills to bring YWS’s outdoor space to life with fresh, colorful plantings and herbs for container gardening.  Lunchtime will bring the YWS youth and staff team and Team Depot together to enjoy a meal prepared by Team Depot!

Thank you to The Home Depot Canada Foundation for your continued investment in young people challenged with homelessness.  This gift recognizes that each youth comes to YWS with their own set of strengths, challenges and dreams, each requiring personalized strategies to successfully and safely transition to independent living.

YWS welcomes new Executive Director Steve Doherty

YWS welcomes new Executive Director Steve Doherty

S. Doherty photo4

The Board of Directors of Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Doherty as the shelter’s new Executive Director, commencing May 8, 2017.

The majority of Steve’s career has been devoted to children’s mental health, both working in and managing treatment homes and day programs.  In a way, we are welcoming him back to the neighbourhood. He launched his career 24 years ago as a Child and Youth Care Worker at the George Hull Centre –  in a residential building that YWS later purchased, and renovated to launch our innovative Stay in School Program!

Steve has counselled youth with addictions using a harm-reduction approach to treatment, and believes strongly in a strength-based model of care.  His progressive leadership and senior management experience, approach and passion for his work make him a perfect fit for YWS:

“The youth I have worked with over the years have been great teachers, and the lessons have stuck with me. The resilience and spirit they demonstrate are a constant source of awe. I cannot wait to learn from the highly respected YWS team, and be part of something truly amazing.”

Please join us in welcoming Steve to YWS. The Board is committed to working alongside him as we continue developing youth-centered solutions to ending homelessness, one youth at a time, one step at a time.

What does home mean for you? #HomeIsWhere

What does home mean for you? #HomeIsWhere

At Youth Without Shelter, we believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Young people who are homeless (ages 13-24) make up approximately 20% of the homeless population in Canada (Gaetz et al., 2014). We continuously strive to make our house a home and breakdown barriers youth face such as on going housing instability, unemployment, and access to education. For youth who experience homelessness, “home” could mean a place with a warm meal or simply having a place to sleep at night.

We asked our youth in our “House” and our Board of Directors “What does home mean to you?” Here’s what they had to say:

Tell us how you would finish the Hashtag. Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We want to know where home is for you.

#GivingTuesdayCA

YWS receives donation from Rexdale The Home Depot store as part of The Orange Door Project

YWS receives donation from Rexdale The Home Depot store as part of The Orange Door Project

The Home Depot’s Rexdale store has raised donations for Youth Without Shelter through its Orange Door Project fundraising campaign. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 9 Home Depot customers supported the campaign by donating $2 in exchange for paper orange doors, with the full $2 benefiting YWS.

The Orange Door Project was established with the goal of eliminating youth homelessness in Canada. 182 Home Depot Canada stores took part in this year’s campaign by selling paper orange doors in-store, and by rolling up their sleeves to help local charities complete renovation projects.

Across Canada, the 2016 Orange Door Project campaign raised $1.15 million with 100 per cent of donations benefiting youth-serving organizations.