Youth homelessness is complex, and each young person experiencing it deserves compassionate, wraparound support to ensure their journey doesn’t continue into adulthood. Upwards of 1,400 young people in Ottawa find themselves homeless each year, mostly due to conflict in the home with 40% of homeless young people identifying as members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Contributing to YSB’s Room to Grow Campaign will ensure these young people are seen, heard and housed in YSB’s two dedicated youth shelters. Along with individual room sponsors, anyone can make a donation of any size. Every $4,000 raised through our donor community means another room is sponsored for one year…and another deserving young person has a safe place to call home.
A room sponsorship allows YSB make sure that a young person’s private room is properly cared for from the moment they move in to when they transition to permanent housing. Some examples of this support include:
– Deep cleaning of the living space and applying a fresh coat of paint.
– Addressing any needed repairs such as flooring, walls, etc.
– Providing fresh, new bedding and pillows for the room.
– Replacing any needed furnishings such as lamps, desks, beds.
– Costs associated with upkeep and replacement of the kitchenettes in transitional housing rooms.
For every $4,000 raised a room will be dedicated to YSB’s caring community of supporters. Seeing this sign every time they come home lets young people in Ottawa know that their community is there for them.
If you, your organization, family or group of friends is interested in sponsoring an entire room, you can make your gift here or connect with Oliver Saner (firstname.lastname@example.org), Fundraising Coordinator at 613-600-6426.
Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.
The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.
It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.
“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.