Nov 24, 2009

Youth shelters receive donations in times of growing need

Community Foundation of Ottawa donates $28,800 to Youth Services Bureau shelters

Ottawa, November 24, 2009—The Community Foundation of Ottawa has made two grants to the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa’s (YSB) emergency shelter services. This funding will assist young men and young women to find shelter in the short term, and stability in the long term, as they receive a helping hand at a critical moment in their journey.

The Community Foundation is providing grants of $20,000 to the Evelyn Horne Young Women’s Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing program and $8,800 to the Young Men’s Emergency Shelter at a time of growing need.

“These emergency shelter programs are essential to improving the living situations of vulnerable youth in Ottawa,” said Barbara McInnes, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa. “This past year, we have been working hard to inform our donors of these kinds of urgent needs in the community, and we are so pleased to have been successful in providing much-needed support to the vital work of YSB.”

“We are thrilled that the Community Foundation has come through at a crucial time for the young people who use the emergency shelters,” said Alex Munter, YSB executive director. “Without proper housing, they have been unable to meet basic needs, find jobs or stay healthy. Every day we see success stories – young people for whom finding stable housing was a turning point in their lives.”

This gift will make an important difference in the lives of young men and young women who have no stable housing and end up at the doors of YSB’s shelters. And the need is growing.

According to the Community Foundation’s annual Ottawa’s Vital Signs report, the length of shelter stay of youth almost doubled between 2007 and 2008 from 27 days to 46 days because affordable housing is increasingly hard to find. As youth stay longer in shelters, beds become available less frequently and other youth who need services are unable to access the supports they need.

At YSB, youth have a safe place to stay. YSB offers 48 emergency and transitional beds as part of a larger continuum of housing services. But more than that, youth are reconnected to a sense of optimism about their own futures and can begin the road back – through counseling, support, employment, education and stable housing.

Established in 1987, the Community Foundation of Ottawa is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. It connects donors who care with causes that matter and serves as a trusted resource for addressing issues and leveraging opportunities in the community. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has been enabling generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community and to achieve their own charitable objectives through permanent, wellmanaged endowments.

YSB is one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit agencies serving youth in Ottawa and is a registered charity. Serving between 2,500 and 3,000 youth every month, YSB offers services in the areas of mental health services, youth employment, community and housing services, and youth justice.