Trillium funding announced at YES Annual General Meeting
Another July has come and gone, and with it, the YES Shelter for Youth and Families Annual General Meeting, held in mid-July each year.
This year, the event began around 5pm as approximately 50 people started to arrive at the backyard space of the Lions Community Centre on Burnham St., in Peterborough.
Youth, staff, board members, supporters, members of the press and public figures were abuzz, excited for the announcement to come, an inkling of which had been released earlier that day.
The vibe was social as folks chatted about the success of YES over the past year and ate a BBQ dinner served by Dave Dame from the Runner’s Life and other members of the YES Board.
A big deal for YES
The proceedings began with opening remarks from our MPP Dave Smith, alongside the Ontario Trillium Fund representative, Marnie Speck. Excitingly, they announced that YES had been the recipient of a Trillium Grow Grant of over 710,000.00 to help expand the YES Youth Housing Program.
The YES Youth Housing Program
The Youth Housing Program is a restorative program that gives youth who have been experiencing homelessness a stable place to live with supports for between 1 and 3 years. The program includes the live-in support of an adult mentor, life skills instruction, clinical and mental health supports, and most of all, a place to heal and recover from the experiences that led to homelessness for them. This program has fantastic results, often seeing youth into college or university programs, or permanent employment.
We know that the youth housing program is a way to resolve youth homelessness, but previously YES has only been able to offer the program to 7 youth at a time. With this grant, we hope to quadruple this capacity by summer 2020 to serve more of the youth who require this help in our community.
Our annual Volunteer of the Year award went to Wendy Love, last years’ Chair of the Board who has been an extraordinary contributor to YES over the course of her time with us.
New this year to the AGM was the Thomas Fischer Staff Award. This is a staff-nominated award that goes to a YES staff person who reflects the YES values of Advocacy, Dignity, Compassion, and Equity throughout the year. This year, that award went to Karen Scott.
Karen is tirelessly doing her utmost to advocate for the youth that she works with each day. And she was very touched by the life of Thomas Fischer, the award’s namesake, who was a YES staff person who exhibited the YES values always, but unfortunately passed away in the summer of 2018.
Thomas continues to be greatly missed by the staff at YES, and this award felt like a good way to pay tribute to Thomas, while recognizing the efforts made by YES staff every day.
Perhaps the most celebratory part of the event was cheering for our recent grads. Four youth who were a part of our Youth Housing program graduated high school this spring and two of them were present at the AGM to be recognized.
These grads are evidence that our program works. Our efforts have made a difference, and with support from their community, these youth are on a path to stable adulthood. This is why we’re all here.
And don’t worry; we did not forget dessert. YES Outreach Superhero, Jaycee brought in her one-of-a-kind, homemade cupcakes, that all attendees enjoyed.
There were many laughs and smiles full of compassion and joy throughout the entirety of the event. A big thanks to all who came.