OTTAWA, July 29, 2020 —For almost a decade, people have been sleeping outside once a year to raise funds for the Youth Services Bureau (YSB). This year, the YSB Foundation announces a big change in our annual fundraiser: introducing, Stay Up Ottawa, a community campaign to end youth homelessness.
YSB’s new virtual event, Stay Up Ottawa, builds on the success of past YSB SleepOUT for Youth events. Participants will raise funds to support YSB shelters and housing programs for youth. This will be a collective, virtual event, which will offer everybody the flexibility to participate in their own time and space, while still being a part of a larger community movement. “Through the difficult months of the pandemic, we’ve seen Ottawa’s young people rise to many challenges, particularly those who are struggling with mental health issues and homelessness,” said Kerry Patterson-Baker, Chair of the YSB Foundation Board of Directors. “This effort is a chance for our community to recognize these challenges and show our support.”
Stay Up Ottawa will feature two phases: a summer edition, running from July 29 to August 31, for families, friends in social bubbles, and individuals, and a citywide event on November 27, complete with virtual evening celebration on Zoom featuring a youth speaker, music, and the unveiling of our fundraising total.
Participants in Stay Up Ottawa will commit to one night without the comforts of home, sleeping out in their backyard, front yard, porch, or cottage yard. They will seek donations, which will go towards ending youth homelessness in Ottawa. More than 1,000 youth in Ottawa are homeless or living in unstable housing. Funds raised will go to YSB’s youth shelters and long-term housing. To learn more, visit www.stayupottawa.ca.
About the Youth Services Bureau
YSB is one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit agencies serving youth in Ottawa. It offers more than 30 programs and serves 3,000 youth and families every month in the areas of youth engagement, housing and homelessness, mental health, youth justice and employment.
Suzanne Fraser, Youth Services Bureau