YES Shelter for Youth and Families urgently appeal to the public for help during COVID-19

Posted on March 17, 2020 in Current News

At YES, we offer emergency shelter to youth and families, as well as coordinate homelessness prevention supports, transitional housing for youth, and outreach services in the community for youth who are precariously housed. We are a critical service, and will do everything we can to remain open through the pandemic. But the COVID-19 pandemic is having an unimaginable impact on young people and families already struggling. We are a lifeline to so many, but now we are preparing for months of disruption, and we’re going to need help.

“YES is committed to continuing service; our clients need us,” says Meagan Hennekam, Executive Director. “But I also know it’s going to be a struggle. YES is depending on support from our community.”

Research has shown that individuals experiencing homelessness are at a greater disadvantage during pandemic outbreaks. They have less ability to minimize their risks, are often food insecure, and frequently have health conditions that make them medically vulnerable. 

YES Outreach Worker, Caela Latter is reaching out to all of her clients in the community to assess out what support they’ll need during the pandemic.

Youth and families who are precariously housed in Peterborough are less able to prepare for a pandemic and are more likely to be impacted. YES is identifying clients in the community who need support, and will help them get what they need during this time.

Meanwhile, at the shelter

We are taking every precaution available to us to keep youth and families safe with diligent cleaning procedures and additional communication with clients around best practices. We will also be screening everyone who comes into the emergency shelter building before they enter.

YES Shelter Workers are screening everyone who comes into the shelter with questions given to us by Peterborough Public Health.

To manage these extraordinary times, we need your help.

The best thing you can do is donate to YES. Your gift will help us allocate resources where they are most needed, and you will allow us to continue effectively addressing homelessness in our community throughout the pandemic.  With your support, we will get through it.

Next, we need supplies

We have listed everything that we critically need on our wish list. If you find yourself with enough to share of any of these items, please consider donating what you can by dropping it off at the shelter anytime between 9am – 12pm, Monday through Friday. Our clients do not have the funds, so we really need the community of Peterborough to support youth in the community through COVID-19, if they can.

Please note: if you do choose to come in person, you will be asked screening questions before we can accept your donation.

Currently, our stores are low. We urgently need help from the community to help clients in shelter and in the community through COVID-19.

Lastly, you can visit our Amazon wish list and purchase some of the items that the shelter and our clients in the community will likely need in the coming weeks. These will be delivered directly to the shelter and distributed by YES staff.

Until further notice, we cannot accept donations of used items or prepared foods. As always, we are asking people to only bring items on our wish list. All of our available resources are going to our clients, and we do not have additional help to sort items that we don’t need urgently.

These are circumstances that most of us have never experienced, and in times like these, strong communities come together and get through it. We need your help now to get the most vulnerable people in our community through this time. Let’s do this together.

For more information on the above information or for those who want to donate critical items but cannot make these drop off times, please call (705-312-6828 or