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In Transition
Inside this issue
I’m the impact of your donation What does resiliency mean at YWS? On The Right Track… Racing Towards a Solution The street is no home 1

August 2013


I’m the impact of your donation
Stories are often shared over meals at Youth Without Shelter (YWS). A few months ago Nancy called YWS to arrange a date for a team of volunteers from her church to provide and serve a “home cooked” meal to YWS’s 50 youth. While visiting the shelter Nancy was asked how she learned about YWS. Well, YWS had been her “home” six years ago. For many years, Nancy never shared that she had any contact with a shelter, let alone had lived in one. But now she has begun to open up, firmly believing that her experiences can help others. Family circumstances were such that Nancy had no choice but to strike out on her own as a teen. For a time she tried balancing living on her own with staying in school. Nancy dreamed of becoming a nurse and was enrolled in a college nursing program. But she simply could not afford rent, and lost her housing. It was a social worker who told Nancy about a newly opened program called the Stay in School Program (SIS) at Youth Without Shelter.



Youth Without Shelter
6 Warrendale Court Etobicoke, ON M9V 1P9

Tel: 416.748.0110 Fax: 416.748.2169
To receive this newsletter via email subscribe at:


Looking back, Nancy says that coming to YWS was like being welcomed into a “home”. The youth and

Our Vision
To end homelessness, one youth at a time, one step at a time Charitable Reg. No. 11930 7817 RR0001

staff team became her family. “The computer lab, the school supplies, space to study, all of those vital supports helped me stay in school.” Nancy finished the nursing program and graduated with honours. “If I had not come to YWS I would not be a graduate, I would have dropped out.” Today, Nancy works full-time as a public health nurse specializing in healthy food and nutrition education with youth ages 5 through 18. She is settled with a family of her own (and is expecting her second child in November). Nancy’s church community is a big part of her life – and it is there that Nancy shares her life journey with young women. “I am the impact of donations to the shelter. What I have achieved would not have been possible without all those who support YWS. If I a former resident of YWS can come back and give, then anyone can give. It does not have to be a big donation, many small donations can make a difference.”


In Transition
YWS Back to School Wish List
This September YWS youth residing in the Stay in School (SIS) Program return to school. The SIS Program removes the barriers a homeless youth faces in completing their education by providing a safe and stable environment to live in and support and guidance from qualified staff. Greatest needed school supplies: USB sticks Highlighters White out Binders Alarm clocks Scientific calculators Bristol board Acrylic paint and brushes Sheet protectors Mechanical pencils Pens Glue sticks Graph paper Post-it notes No lined paper please
We’ve all felt uncertain and discouraged at one point in our lives. As a young person, I have had moments of self- doubt, and wondered how I would rise above my short coming to see my potential. Then I remember my mom, my teacher, or even a stranger who had encouraged or gave me hope about my situation. It might have been a small gesture, but feeling hopeful, and knowing someone cares was very uplifting and I never took it for granted. Many of the youth we serve have experienced trauma in their lives, which can only heal with time, and in a safe, non-judgemental environment. As frontline workers, we must look at these underlying issues from a trauma lens to effectively support the physical, emotional and mental health needs of the clients. Every young person has something they are good at, and having a responsible adult in their life, who inspire, and motivates them to believe in their dreams and aspirations is the foundation for resiliency.

What does resiliency mean at YWS?
As an employee of Youth Without Shelter, I have been fortunate to work with some of the most amazing youth you will ever meet. To me, resiliency is all about empowerment, the ability to inspire someone to see the positives and/or strength in themselves to overcome situations that may seem impossible. I have had clients say: “I am not capable”, “You guys are the only family I have”, “No one cares about me”, “I feel really sad, “I just need someone to talk to”, “I need a place to call home”, “I want my family back”, “Is my life worth fighting for?” and the list goes on.


-Ben Omoregie, YWS Operations Manager
Ben recently shared about building resiliency in youth with TVO’s The Agenda:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2Mqn6sNyN0&feature=player_embedded Thank you to everyone for voting for Ben as the Major League Soccer MVP for Toronto FC. Ben finished an astounding 4th in North America out of 19 teams!

On The Right Track…Racing Towards a Solution
“Thank you YWS for keeping me focused and helping me stay positive. You do so much to help us achieve our goals”. These words shared by a youth speaker kicked off an entertaining afternoon in the trackside marquee at Woodbine Racetrack. In that one afternoon, 300 guests came together at On The Right Track to raise record funds of $70,004. Thank you to all of our corporate and community partners who through this event are equipping young people with the confidence and life skills to succeed in life: UPS Canada Ltd. (Turf Champion Title Sponsor); Lakeview Lodge #272 Independent Order of Oddfellows and Yamana Gold Inc. (Front Runner Presentation Sponsors); Sponsor); Contac; media sponsors: Pattison Outdoor Woodbine Entertainment Group (Silent Auction and Mystery Bag BTI Brand Innovations; Advertising; and The

Etobicoke Guardian; and the generous silent auction and mystery bag donors. Video and photo highlights at: http://www.yws.on.ca/on-the-right-track Mark Sunday, May 25, 2014 on your calendars now.



In Transition The street is no home
Your young adult years are ones of development, inspiration and discovering who you are and where you fit in. Challenging years at best, when you have the support of family and friends to provide the stability for growth. Imagine it without. A good home provides a safe-haven to allow your focus and energy to expand beyond the basics of food, clothing and shelter. The street is no home. These are also your educational years, ones that will guide you through life. School years translate into job opportunities. Without the basics it is easy to get lost. Youth Without Shelter is all about providing guidance, establishing foundations and

Annual General Meeting
At the YWS Annual General Thursday, Meeting on September

19, 2013, 6 pm, we celebrate your role in enabling YWS to be a welcoming attend please place of safety and support. To the contact AGM, our

Development Office at 416.748.0110 x 26.


building opportunities to allow our youth the chance to try (and fail) and try again in a supportive environment.

Youth are incredibly resilient. Even after a bad start, a turn-around is within reach. Given a path for betterment, achievements can be garnered and built upon. Resilience relies on the ability to recover and the ability to recover requires the proper dose of encouragement. The staff at YWS embrace this concept as they believe it is the core of the shelters’ success. It's all about building, creating, envisioning a tomorrow; a possible; a goal so these young adults have the opportunities to flourish in years where it can count the most. Having a good coach, mentor or role-model around to reinforce the positive moves and keep in check the drifts, provides the catalyst for development. Community involvement, by businesses and individuals who offer funding, know-how, or something as simple as time, calls to the youth that we are here as a collective group, willing to support them as they lay the ground-work for a better future for us all. Speaking to youth that have been transitioned by Youth Without Shelter staff is always inspirational. They almost always talk of “the family” they found here, how they will never forget what the staff and supporters gave them; in assistance; knowledge; encouragement and just in time. How the community cared enough about them at a time when they thought that no one even knew they existed. Opportunities are provided by those willing to give.

Greatest YWS needs of this time
• Female underwear (S-XL) • Male boxers/briefs (M-XL) • Male/female deodorant • Male running shoes (sizes 10-13) • Female running shoes (sizes 8-10) • Female dress pants (sizes 17, 19) • Hair accessories (i.e. hair ties, clips) • Body lotion • Towels • Twin sheet sets • Twin size blankets • Feminine hygiene products (pads)

-David Mielke, Chair, YWS Board of Directors
(Over the past eight years David’s volunteering has made a definitive impact on the lives of 1,000’s of homeless youth who have sought safe shelter at YWS. David simply never stops sharing. He is part of the YWS family, and his involvement makes the shelter a home. This past spring David was honoured by the Etobicoke Guardian with an Urban Hero Award for the difference he has made in the community.)

New items only please


Yes! I/We would like to provide a safe haven for a youth tonight at Youth Without Shelter. Here is my gift to build a better future for youth:
$25 will provide a youth with a safe place to sleep for one night at YWS $35 will provide a food/hygiene package for one youth as they move out $50 will provide TTC tokens for one month to help a youth look for a job, visit a doctor and find a place to live $100 will provide a TTC pass for one month for one student in the YWS Stay in School Program to go to school $150 will provide one “On the Move” moving package for one youth with the basic necessities such as bed linens $200 will provide juice for one week for Youth Without Shelter’s 50 youth residents I prefer to contribute $ Name: Credit card: circle MasterCard/VISA no. Signature: E-mail: I would like to Adopt-A-Bed by contributing monthly $ Address: Expiration date: Phone number:

To make a donation on-line, please visit www.yws.on.ca You can make a difference in a youth’s life by returning this form with cheque (payable to Youth Without Shelter) or credit card information to: Youth Without Shelter, 6 Warrendale Court, Etobicoke, ON M9V 1P9. YWS respects your privacy and adheres to all legislative requirements with respect to privacy. We protect your personal information and do not rent, sell or trade our mailing lists. From time to time YWS will send you updates on our solutions to homelessness and other opportunities for your involvement. If at any time you would like to be removed from our list, please call 416.748.0110 ext. 26. Thank you for “ending homelessness, one youth at a time, one step at a time.”

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