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 homeless…ness.
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.
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
“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”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
YWS is one of 10 diverse high-impact charities selected by Charity Intelligence to be part of the new CI Canadian Charity Impact Fund. Impact is measured through our SROI (Social Return on Investment) which is a ratio that measures the amount of value created per dollar donated.