YWS Class of 2019

YWS Class of 2019

We’ve had a very exciting few weeks over here at YWS in our Stay in School Program.

This unique program aims to remove barriers that a homeless youth may face in completing their education by providing a safe and stable environment to live in and support and guidance from qualified staff.

With safe housing, clothing, hygiene products, nutritious food, and counselling, the program provides valuable elements that enable youth to succeed. Youth in the program have access to volunteer tutors, computers to assist with homework, transit passes, basic school supplies and school appropriate clothing based upon donations. The Youth enrolled in this program are responsible for maintaining their grades, attending school regularly and completing various household chores.

We are proud to announce that we have 11 graduates this year from both secondary and post secondary school programs!

We are so proud of their individual accomplishments, and inspired by their hard work and determination to reach their goals.

To the 2019 graduating class – Congratulations!




YWS Strategic Plan 2019-2024

YWS Strategic Plan 2019-2024

Youth Without Shelter has been located in the community of North Etobicoke for over 3o years. We provide a safe refuge for youth ages 16-24 who– often through circumstances beyond their control– have found themselves without a home to call their own.

Over the past year, YWS has worked through a five-year strategic plan, to define both our intended impact and theory of change, as well as a new mission and guiding principles. The culmination of this work is the “YWS Strategic Plan 2019-2024”. It is an exciting and ambitious plan that balances the need to grow with the needs of our youth clients. It is optimistic and innovative- truly reflecting the spirit of the organization and all those involved in it.



Between 2019-2024, 500 youth impacted by YWS will exit out of homelessness to stable living.


Strategic Plan 2019-2024


Share your support on social media!





“I’m a proud supporter of the Youth Without Shelter 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, #500in5!

Join us in our mission to provide support to 500 youth exiting out of homelessness to stable living over the next 5 years. 

Learn more at www.yws.on.ca”

Cover Me Urban 2019 raised $165,355!

Cover Me Urban 2019 raised $165,355!

On April 10th Cover Me Urban, presented by Hudbay Minerals, came to life through the good vibes of Toronto neighborhoods at The Rec Room.

Together, the sold out Cover Me Urban crowd raised $165,355 for Youth Without Shelter’s Life Skills, Employment, Culinary, Housing and After-Care Programs! Thank you.

Take a peek at these photo and media highlights of this electric evening of urban sights and sounds:

  • Click here to see how SNAPD Downtown Toronto captured the spirit of the night.
  • Click here to view the Global Evening News piece on Cover Me Urban.
  • Click here to listen to how Cover Me Urban Food Station, Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar, make their signature “Mozzarella” on CP24 Weekend Breakfast.
  • View the Cover Me Urban Facebook Album.

See you next April 2020 in the Cover Me Urban neighborhoods.

And the final word belongs to our youth,click here for their words of thanks.


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.