The Haven – Summer 2010

The Haven – summer 2010 [pdf 500kb]

YES Newsletter: Spring 2010

Picnic in the Park…ing Lot – Saturday, June 19

Mark Saturday, June 19 in your calendars! YES will host a Picnic in the Park…ing Lot to raise funds for our programs and services. From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, the parking lot adjacent to YES will be filled with the aroma of barbequed burgers, the sound of music and the sight of street performers. Home-baked goods, face painting and tours of the shelter will also be on tap. We’ll be selling raffle tickets for a chance to WIN BIG – laptop & printer, barbeque, YMCA family health membership and more. Come out, bring your family and friends and enjoy some good food and family entertainment at our picnic “fun-raiser”.

If you’re willing to help sell raffle tickets – or want to buy some! – contact Leni at 705-932-2004.
YES AGM and film screening – July 29

Please join us for our Annual General Meeting at the Millennium Park Glass Room (beside the Silver Bean Cafe) on Thursday, July 29, at 6:30 pm. Following a short business meeting, we will screen the 20-minute film “Family on the Edge”, documenting the struggle of one Peterborough family as they cope with homelessness and the challenge of finding secure, stable housing. Also, winning tickets for our raffle will be drawn.

Carriage House News – by Simon Weigh

In March of this year, the Peterborough Art Galley opened an exciting new exhibit. Through a YMCA initiative called Photovoice, the photography of five students from the Carriage House alternative education classroom was framed and exhibited for public viewing at the gallery. The exhibit ran through May.

The aim of the Photovoice project was to engage youth in using photography as a medium to record and reflect their community’s strengths and problems and to highlight issues in their community. Students used the camera to express how they saw addictions affecting them, their friends or family, and their community. All the work students completed with the Photovoice project was included as part of their English course requirements.

The subjects of the student’s photos were local and the themes varied. From local architectural features to walls of graffiti, the photos, taken with low tech equipment, turned out. One student wrote describing the theme of his photo, Pedestal of Pain: “People lose themselves to the perils of this world. We are all the same. No one is better than the other. We are all a son, a daughter, a father, or mother.” Another student wrote of her untitled photo: “I think warriors symbolize the hard life, taking on one day at a time, it can get hard but you can push through.” The pictures and reflections were serious but they provided a perspective on what youth have to say when asked to reflect in a particular way on their community.

Joe’s Story – What’s a heaven for? – by Wyatt Lamoureux

Joe was born into a severely abusive family and taken into Crown wardship when he was almost 2 years old. He was soon adopted by a young couple, Lucy and Charles. Eventually, Joe was diagnosed with what is now termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and possibly ADD. Despite the challenges he faced, Joe loved school, had a good group of peers, and enjoyed his early teen years. Then things changed at home for Lucy and Charles. Charles’ career had him often changing shifts, and Joe was left to himself much of the time after school. He found trouble on the internet and pay-per-view channels; he ran afoul of the legal system for mischief and theft; and finally, in despair and not considering the outcome, Joe started a fire in his room.

Joe’s parents loved him dearly, but felt he couldn’t stay in their home unmonitored. Joe ended up in jail, waiting for a mental health assessment. Jail was clearly not the right place for this boy, and in March of last year the Mental Health Court Diversion office called YES, where a bed was provided for Joe.

Joe quickly fit in at YES as a willing and likable young man with a silly sense of humour. With the support of YES staff, Joe was accepted for Ontario Works; he began an application to the Ontario Disability Support Program; his charges were stayed, with the condition of staying out of trouble for one year. He also began attending The Carriage House, became a part of the YES Transitional Life Skills program and got accepted into the YES second-stage housing program at Abbott House.

Now Joe pays board and lodge, is learning how to budget, helps staff out when asked, and continues to be caring, silly, and funny. Joe has been accepted into the ODSP employment supports program. Learning carpentry skills in the Carriage House woodshop, Joe has also completed the last few credits of his Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Joe officially graduates this October at PCVS!

Like everybody else Joe has good days, bad days, and every kind of day in-between. He has hopes and dreams — he talks of taking Police Foundations at college, and maybe even forensic medicine. His story might take a little longer than others’ to play out, but he perfectly illustrates the heart of the Robert Browning poem Andrea Del Sarto: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”

Thanks to our community supporters

YES wishes to extend sincere thanks to the many community members who help make our programs a success. Two recent examples: the annual Morello’s bowlathon, held this year in memory of Andy MacDonald, raised more than $7000 for YES; and the annual Youth For Youth event, featuring performances by students from both Catholic high schools, raised $6900 for YES. Thanks also go out to our raffle prize donors: Computer Solutions “Plus”; Rona Cashway; YMCA of Peterborough; Locks Hair Salon & Spa; Johnston’s Greenhouse; 4th Line Theatre; and Home Hardware. Your generosity and concern is greatly appreciated!

Y.E.S. Wish List

Y.E.S. is always in need of gently used clothing (for children and youth) and new personal items such as shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, dental floss, hairbrushes, underwear and socks. We also need dedicated cash donations for new mattresses and other large items. If you can help, contact us at 705-748-3851. Donations by cash or cheque can be mailed or dropped off to the shelter at 196 Brock St., Peterborough, ON, K9H 2P4. Or visit our website at www.yesshelter.ca and click on the Canada Helps link.

Homeless? We can help.

If you or a youth or family you know has ended up homeless, Y.E.S. can help. We provide emergency and transitional housing for youth aged 16-24 and for families, as well as a variety of related programs and services. The shelter is located at 196 Brock St., across from Price Chopper, in downtown Peterborough. We’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 705-748-3851 or visit our website at www.yesshelter.ca.

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