Mark Taylor

    Mark Taylor works as the Vice-President of Resource Development for the United Way of Ottawa. His work ensures that the United Way has the resources it needs to support agencies changing lives across the region. From 2010 to 2018 Mark served as the Ottawa City Councillor for Bay Ward in Ottawa’s west end. From 2014 to 2018 Mark also served as the Deputy Mayor of Ottawa. During his time in office Mark was involved in files relating to public health, affordable housing and homelessness, intergovernmental affairs, economic development and the environment. Mark has also been a business owner in the technology and telephony space.

    With his wife Christine and daughters Sasha and Emily, Mark and his family work and volunteer to make our community a stronger, more inclusive place.

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    Milo's Story

    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.

    Milo*

    *While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy