Written by Colin Withers on December 15, 2014
in Giving Back

Ariad Gives Back

To celebrate Ariad’s 25th anniversary, we have given away $25,000 to ten different charitiesAriadites were divided into ten teams who worked together to independently choose a charity that would receive $2,500.The charities are all Toronto-based, and are small enough to see their $2,500 donation have a real impact on their mission. In these posts, we will highlight each charity to share their story and show why they were selected by our team.

Youth Without Shelter

Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is Etobicoke’s singular emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth aged 16-24. YWS is committed to stepping far beyond the basics of food and beds.

In 1986 a group of teachers and guidance counselors created YWS as they were frustrated with the lack of safe, emergency housing and support programs for their students. Since that time Youth without Shelter has helped more than 14,000 homeless youth to build their confidence and life-skills and to find long-term stable housing and jobs. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they are dedicated to providing shelter and support programs in a safe environment, with the goal of getting youth off the streets permanently.

Building upon a solid base of programs and services, the strategic approach at YWS is to ensure that every youth has the support and encouragement to develop to his/her potential. All programs and operations are designed and conducted in a manner that is youth-centric. A Strength-based (Resilience) Model of Care is the foundation to the best possible successful future for the young people in the care of YWS.

Youth who come to YWS arrive with the label of “homeless” (with all the negative connotations that comes along with it), and consequently their self-esteem and confidence is low. The Strength-based (Resilience) Model of Care focuses on young peoples’ strengths: building a safe community within their walls where talking, listening and sharing are productive; and giving youth the opportunities to develop the integral skills and confidence to navigate the world and overcome their challenges.

The youth that step through YWS’s doors are generally fleeing abusive homes, may have spent much of their young lives in the child welfare system, or have experienced many forms of violence and poverty. Most arrive at YWS with limited age-appropriate life skills and subsequently do not have the knowledge to look after themselves appropriately. The youth that YWS serves come from across the Greater Toronto Area and from every economic and cultural background. YWS is located in the Jamestown area of North Etobicoke, a United Way Toronto designated priority neighbourhood. All youth come to YWS with their own individual needs including: immigration issues, substance use and abuse, mental illness, anger/behavioural problems, issues with the law, pregnancy and feelings of abandonment and trauma from abuse. All have the same need for a safe and stable environment.

At YWS the journey away from the street starts with their vision: to end homelessness, one youth at a time, one step at a time. Ariad is proud to support Youth Without Shelter, and we are committed to improving the lives of others in our communities.









Colin Withers is the Brand & Communications Manager at Ariad Communications.

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