Windsor Youth Centre "Almost Home" Capital Campaign

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1321 Wyandotte Street East | Windsor, Ontario N9A 3K8 | 519-563-9271 |

An agency of the Government of Ontario. Un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario.

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains & is immortal. –Albert Price

The Windsor Youth Centre provides safe refuge for homeless and at-risk youth, changing lives and building futures. We’re Almost Home. Help us get there.

The Need


History of the Windsor Youth Centre


Programs & Funding


Almost Home


Naming Opportunities




Thank You & Contact Information


Youth under age 18 are the fastest growing demographic of homelessness in the country


Average life expectancy of a homeless person

Percentage of rental properties in Windsor-Essex that are affordable for tenants with low incomes




Portion of homeless population in Canada comprised of youth ages 16-24 Compared to the national average, homeless are



more likely to commit suicide

The Need Homelessness can happen to anyone, it can be attributed to a number of factors including abuse, loss of employment, unmanageable living expenses, mental health or addiction problems. Almost half of Canadians feel they are only one or two pay cheques away from poverty. According to the charity Raising the Roof, youth aged 16 to 24 make up approximately one-third of the homeless population in Canada, with at least 65,000 youth living without a home or in a homeless shelter.

Youth homelessness statistics for Windsor and Essex County are based only on youth actually seen on the street or found in shelters. However, youth often crash on a friend’s couch commonly called couch surfing or might be able to stay with relatives for a few weeks at a time, making youth homelessness a hidden issue.

The WYC serves roughly 17,000 free meals annually.


Percentage of meals served to children in 2011 by Windsor-Essex food banks, a total of 69,415 meals

Data Source: Pathway to Potential – Windsor and Essex County



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The History of the Windsor Youth Centre The Windsor Youth Centre (WYC) opened its doors with a $20,000 grant from the United Church of Canada. At that time, the WYC was the only drop-in centre for homeless and at-risk youth in Windsor and Essex County. Three years later, it still is. The WYC, fondly nicknamed ‘Wick,’ is open six days a week, Monday to Saturday. Drop in hours are 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The WYC serves a minimum of 1400 meals

per month / 17,000 annually to youth ages 16 to 25. Meals are shared by youth, staff and volunteers in a friendly, safe and inclusive environment. There is on-site laundry facilities, as well as take-away personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, baby items and non-perishable food. The WYC provides support in the areas of employment, education, housing and transportation as well as refers youth to local agencies and services.

ur o s a , t n ste i s cy n n o e c t sis urs n o o h c in en nd p h a o c s be mu ay d o o t r s e ot ou c n e n n e d i a er sio i m p c m x e e e e d h y “ W t e th nt ead a e r l d w a a e h t m w u e e o y us .W a s c e e v i .” ,b rl k i s r r e o u h ho ow in t l t o o o rg ch o s / g d n an , l duri o ho c s o t WYC r o o t c ire to g ve D cuti

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The WYC Specialized Programs The WYC has developed a number of specialized programs to suit the needs of our youth. Generation WYC provides new and expectant parents with a positive support network to help young families succeed. Over a hot lunch there is much conversation, access to items needed for healthy babies, along with a few laughs and words of encouragement. Up to You is a voluntary relapse prevention group that meets weekly and is supported by the WYC’s senior youth program facilitator. Through creative arts programming Up to You helps participants find ways to live better, healthier, kinder and clean lives.

Our Voices is a youth-led platform for youth to share personal experiences in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Weekly Programs: Youth are welcome to participate in weekly drop-in programs including poetry reading and writing on Monday, art workshops on Thursday and movie night on Saturday – popcorn included.

WYC Funding The WYC relies on the generosity of our community through cash and in-kind donations and some grants, it receives no ongoing government funding. A registered not-for-profit with the Canada Revenue Agency, the activities of the WYC are overseen by an executive director, one full-time and three part-time program facilitators, a dedicated board of directors and hundreds of local volunteers.


In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. –Theodore Roosevelt

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. e r s o e i t M i l i b i ss o p s s e l End 8

We’re Almost Home. Help us get there. Your donation will help provide safe refuge for homeless and at-risk youth, while helping to change lives and build futures.


Artist ’s rend ering of the 1247 exteri Wyan or of dotte St. Ea st


A New Home. More Room to Grow. In just three years, the WYC has outgrown its current location at 1321 Wyandotte Street East. This leased space requires significant and costly renovations and no longer meets the needs to serve our growing clientele safely. The WYC recently purchased a building just one block away at 1247 Wyandotte Street East. Keeping the WYC in the same area is mandatory for a number of reasons including safety of the neighbourhood, familiarity, and easy access to public transportation.

“ When we have people eating dinner standing up or sitting on top of the washing machine, it’s obvious that we need a larger space. Young people come to the WYC because they are looking for the path to independence and dignity. Owning a home of our own will allow us to help some of our most vulnerable youth get back on their feet and participate in creating a better future for Windsor-Essex.” -Tamara Kowalska, Executive Director WYC.



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We Need Your Help The WYC needs your help to raise $500,000 to not only address the needs of today but to provide the space and stability needed to face tomorrow – your generosity will support: • • • •

the purchase of the new building moving costs renovations new equipment

• increased youth support (more space and programs will require additional staff) • ongoing development of innovative programs including a community garden

Our new home will provide us with what is needed now to help meet the demand of our community. With your support, the WYC will continue with its philosophy to operate under the guidelines of sincerity and service in order to generate feelings of trust, responsibility, and community membership between the staff, volunteers and homeless youth. Our new home will include: • community garden and outdoor patio area • updated kitchen • larger community area • program spaces • administrative office and volunteer room • laundry facilities • storage and washrooms


Artist ’s rend of the ering outdo 1247 o r p atio a Wyan t dotte St. Ea st 14

Naming Opportunities Our new home will be designed for maximum function while integrating a friendly atmosphere with a contemporary youth edge. Here are some of the spaces that we hope you will consider to call your own. All naming will be held in perpetuity. Our thanks to The Ontario Trillium Foundation for their generous grant of $149,300 to help get our renovations started, The Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Foundation for their remarkable name space contribution of $100,000 and the many others who have contributed.

WYC Outdoor Space

The WYC Garage

Community Garden and Outdoor Patio Naming Fee: $65,000

Naming Fee: $100,000 The Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Foundation

Youth will be hands-on and instrumental in the success of the community garden area. They will oversee the growing and harvesting of fresh vegetables which will play a role in our meal planning to enhance the health and well-being of our youth. The responsibility of maintaining the WYC garden will capitalize on a variety of new skills while providing a sense of community and a connection to the environment. The outdoor patio will include flower beds/pots, seating and shaded areas and will provide outdoor programming space for activities such as yoga, poetry reading and small group activities.

Architects will transform the two-storey garage into the following dynamic spaces: The Loft – Art Studio This space welcomes and embraces creativity. Work created by youth will be displayed in the WYC gallery as well as provide space for guest artists to lead special activities. Program Room Away from the hustle and bustle of the main building, this serene space is a welcome addition. It will provide much needed dedicated space for uninterrupted programming including yoga, art projects, book clubs and group sessions.


Artist ’s rend of the comm ering unity 1247 room Wyan at dotte St. Ea st


The WYC Main Building: All the spaces will be designed to emulate a family-friendly atmosphere and will enhance the current programming with room to grow. Main Community Room Naming Fee: $100,000 This area will be the heart of our new home, where we will join together for conversation, meals, programs, special events and so much more. Program Rooms (2) Naming Fee: $25,000 each Finally, our new home will have dedicated spaces that will provide the privacy necessary to conduct the WYC programs. In addition, youth will have access to computers and telephones. Kitchen Naming Fee: $35,000 The kitchen is where the nurturing and support start. The WYC volunteer chefs are looking forward to designing their kitchen from ‘scratch’ to include more storage, better function and updated appliances, and hosting a cooking class or two for our youth in the near future.

Administrative Office / Volunteer Room Naming Fee: $20,000 This area will allow for a private space away from the main action of the WYC. This secure location will allow both the staff and volunteers with the space to ensure confidentially, as well as quiet, uninterrupted administrative time.

How your naming donation will be recognized: • • • • • • • • • • •

Naming rights in perpetuity Name plaques in designated area Official ‘ribbon cutting’ ceremony Tax receipt for your donation Individualized “pledge” plan Promotion on the WYC website and social media pages Acknowledgement on our permanent donor wall – visible from the street Invitation to the grand opening Updates on how your donation is helping Photo opportunities Media opportunities


Artist ’s rend of the ering youth 1247 library Wyan at dotte St. Ea st


Programming / Special Occasions $10,000 (for one year)

Every Day Needs $5,000 (for one year)

Our weekly programs also need your help to ensure long-term sustainability and growth potential. Donations for programming is ongoing. Please see page 7 for program descriptions.

Your support will ensure that the following items are kept stocked and always available:

• • • • •

Up to You Generation WYC Our Voices Weekly Programs Holidays and Celebrations – The WYC staff and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that youth get to enjoy the special celebrations throughout the year (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc) which includes a traditional meal with all the fixin’s, small gifts for all (Christmas), birthday cakes, graduations, new jobs, academic success and more.

• • • • •

WYC food supplies Take-Away Food Bank Baby needs Personal hygiene items Transportation expenses

How your donation will be recognized: • Program title for one-year, for example, Up to You supported by The Laidlaw Foundation • Tax receipt for your donation • Promotion on the WYC website and social media pages • Acknowledgement on our permanent donor wall – visible from the street • Invitation to the grand opening • Updates on how your donation is helping • Photo opportunities • Media opportunities


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Wish List With every new home comes a “wish list” to get things off to a great start….here’s ours! Your donation will ensure that the WYC can purchase the right items, at the right price to fit our space and needs. Item Dishwasher Commercial

Refridgerator/Cooler Glass door, reach-in

Washer/Dryer Stackable

Dishes We’re Cooking Now #1 Pots & Pans

We’re Cooking Now #2 Bakeware

Donation Value $6,000

A Health Unit must-have


User-friendly & easy-access


High efficiency for maximum use


No cracks, chips or other hazards


The ones we have are sooo bad!


For birthday cakes and celebrations


To help make our kitchen complete and even more efficient


Helps start us off fresh with all-new kitchen gadgets for our volunteer chefs and youth learning to cook

Kitchen Must-Haves Microwave ovens, coffee urns, convection toaster oven, assorted small appliances

Kitchen Gadgets Knives, measuring and mixing gadgets, timers, openers, thermometers & more

Here’s Why

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Wish List Item Kitchen Sinks and Faucets Outdoor Living #1 Gas barbeque

Outdoor Living #2 Tables, chairs, umbrellas

Storage Solutions Dining Room Furniture Tables and chairs for 60

Living Room Furniture Our WYC Babies (X2) Gliders, rocking chairs and change table

Keepin’ Clean, Keepin’ Safe Mops, pails, non-slip mats,

Donation Value $2,500

Space-saving and efficient… cool-looking, too!


Great way to extend our kitchen, and everyone loves a barbequed burger!


Durable, good quality to ensure it lasts and makes our outdoor space amazing


A place for everything… and everything in its place


Family dinner - everyone sits at the table, customized to suit our space


Durable and easy to care for

$1,500 (each)

Name plaque included

Comfortable, cozy, and easy to clean…to give our moms and dads a helping hand


Not so glamourous, but necessary…perfect for a neat freak and required for food safety


Built to last with room to safely store everything to make our garden grow

vaccuums, etc.

Garden Shed and Tools

Here’s Why


Thank You Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the WYC’s Almost Home capital campaign project. The WYC appreciates your support and belief in our mission to meet the basic needs of our youth. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these options or to custom design one to suit your giving philosophy. For more information please contact: Stephanie & Samantha Zekelman Honourary Co-Chairs 519-562-3275 Tamara Kowalska Executive Director 519-563-9271 Linda Andrejicka Campaign Associate 519-564-5016


“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.“ –Theodore Roosevelt

Font cover photo by mk keown. Artist’s renderings by Lori MacDonald Select infographic icons created by licensed under CC BY 3.0

1321 Wyandotte Street East Windsor, Ontario N9A 3K8 519-563-9271 BN 807004288RR0001