Feb 4, 2010

The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa celebrates 50 years of supporting youth at risk

Ottawa, February 4, 2010—The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (YSB) celebrated the start of its 50th anniversary today by calling on Ottawans whose lives have been touched by the agency’s work to reconnect and share their stories.

"We invite you to join with YSB to celebrate 50 years of helping young people," said Alex Munter, Executive Director of YSB. "Your stories will inspire others, help us honour those who made our work possible and build new bridges for youth in the future. 2010 will be our year to renew the dedication and the passion that it takes to help young people make positive choices."

Munter invited former clients, staff members, volunteers and partners of YSB to get involved in the activities planned throughout 2010. Anyone with an interest in YSB can sign up on Facebook, at www.ysb.on.ca, or by calling YSB at 613-729-1000.

The non-profit agency today unveiled a mural called ―My YSB at 50, painted by six young people from the YSB’s youth engagement program. The two-sided mural will be exhibited during the coming year at YSB’s 20 service locations across Ottawa, where staff members will add their own messages. The YSB was founded in 1960 by the Welfare Council of the City of Ottawa to ―promote the general welfare of youth and to act as a clearing-house for youth needs and services. By 1965, it was an independent charity with a mandate to meet needs in the community, from shelter to mental health support, for youth and their families.

In 2010, the YSB offers a broad range of services and expertise, including youth and family counselling, mental health programs, emergency shelters and supportive housing, employment programs, youth justice programs, a drop-in centre and a health clinic for street-involved youth, and a 24-hour crisis line.

Bell is the presenting sponsor of the YSB’s 50th anniversary program. The year’s activities are also generously sponsored by Hydro Ottawa and the Sens Foundation, which focuses on the quality of life of children and youth. In addition, YSB has the generous support of BMO, Vangent, Urbandale Corporation, Logan Katz Chartered Accountants, Sun Life, KPMG, Morneau Sobeco, Marquardt Printing, the Ottawa Citizen, CTV Ottawa and Banfield Seguin Ltd.

"The support of our sponsors is vitally important to giving youth in Ottawa, regardless of what neighbourhood they come from, the opportunity to develop meaningful and productive lives as they move into adulthood," said Mr. Munter. "It means we can be there for more young people at a critical moment in their lives"

YSB invites the Ottawa community to come and celebrate its 50th anniversary at events throughout the year, including:

  • April 1 – URBANA is an annual fundraiser for community programs to prevent homelessness in Ottawa. Hosted by Dharma Developments, this year’s fundraiser will support YSB. Information: 613-884-0891 or ksinha@dharmadevelopments.com
  • May 27 – Building Bridges to a Promising Future: Youth to Adulthood, a one-day conference for youth and youth workers at the University of Ottawa
  • May 2010 – An awards ceremony to recognize youth
  • November 18, 2010 – A reunion of clients, staff and volunteers, followed by a gala fundraising evening

All events during the anniversary year will be listed on the YSB website at www.ysb.on.ca as well as the YSB Facebook page.