Jun 17, 2010

Community pulls together again for Ottawa’s youth

Community pulls together again for Ottawa’s youth

Ottawa, June 17, 2010—In 1960, the Ottawa community pulled together to help our city’s young people by creating the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB). Today, 50 years later, history repeated itself as the new Youth Services Bureau Charitable Foundation was launched to help YSB expand its impact.

Over 75 of Ottawa’s most influential citizens including business leaders, police officers, psychologists, media personalities, politicians and community organizers have signed up to either become inaugural Board Members of the YSB Charitable Foundation or launch the 50th Anniversary Campaign.

And, in turn, they are issuing a challenge to the rest of the community – 50 community leaders are asking 50 people to donate $50 to the Foundation.

In 50 years, YSB has grown to adapt to Ottawa’s changing youth needs. It now operates in 20 locations across the city, serves between 2,500 and 3,000 youth and families each month, and provides services in the areas of housing/homelessness, mental health, employment, youth engagement, and youth justice. But there’s way more demand than there are services and the YSB Charitable Foundation will help the agency expand services, fix buildings and offer new programs to meet new needs.

The list of community leaders includes Ottawa Police Chief Vern White, Senator Jim Munson, CHEO’s Chief of Psychiatry Dr. Simon Davidson, Scotiabank Vice President Dennis Jackson, , Ottawa’s City Manager Steve Kanellakos, CBC’s Adrian Harewood, CTV’s Graham Richardson, pollster Nik Nanos, RogersTV host Ginette Gratton, Mayor Larry O’Brien, Councillors Marianne Wilkinson and Gord Hunter, and many more.

Here is what some Community Leaders have to say:

“In my capacity as Chief of Police, I can tell you that the new Youth Services Bureau Charitable Foundation will help make Ottawa’s streets safer,” said Ottawa Police Chief Vern White. “I’m proud to support programs that give youth the tools they need to make positive decisions.”

“The Youth Services Bureau Charitable Foundation is about community. It responds to the community’s needs, helps build community, and supports Ottawa’s future leaders,” said Dennis Jackson, Vice President of Scotiabank and YSB Foundation Board Member. “I am proud that we as a community have come together to support this important initiative and I encourage even more Ottawans to get involved.”

“One in five young people in Ontario suffers from a mental health disorder. The Youth Services Bureau Charitable Foundation will play an important role in supporting much needed mental health programs and services for young people,” said Dr. Simon Davidson, Regional Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, CHEO and ROMHC and 50th Anniversary Campaign community leader.

Overwhelming support – over $102,000 already raised

So far, over $102,000 has been raised thanks to support from Sociabank, Keller Williams Realty, numerous foundations, and individual contributions.

To engage the community in the YSB Charitable Foundation and in celebration of 50 years of service, leaders are launching the 50th Anniversary Campaign where 50 community leaders will ask 50 individuals to make a $50 donation to the Foundation.

Standing behind their work, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa’s Board of Directors, senior managers, and YSB Charitable Foundation Board of Directors have each made a personal donation.

The YSB Charitable Foundation aims to raise $750,000 in 2010 for innovative programs that provide youth with the tools they need.

Media Contact:
Eva Schacherl
Director of Communications
Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa
613-729-0577 x 1215
Cell.: 613-266-5104

Derek Antoine
Communications Advisor
Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa
613-729-0577 x 1206
Cell.: 613-277-7703