Safe Haven Youth Shelter Thankful to Community Partners
Every aspect of her life is hard. Only 13, Kira* suffers from severe anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of a devastating experience early on in life. Kira’s mom struggles with mental health too. Frequently overwhelmed by the challenges of parenting a struggling teen Tina’s mom decided she couldn’t do it, couldn’t care for her daughter anymore. Where does a teen struggling with her mental health go when she is not welcome at home? Safe Haven Youth Shelter staff met Kira and stepped in to offer planned weekly respite for Kira and her mom. Having a night off once a week gave Kira’s mom the time she needed in order to cope with the other six days. And Kira not only has a home and a mom still, they have supports in the community to help them cope. A family stays together, and they both know they are not alone.
Jacob*, 15, lived with his dad and step-brothers. Extreme conflict in his home, in part due to his mental health challenges, created a lot of stress for the family. One evening, he arrived home to find he was locked out. No home for you here. He “couch-surfed” for several months, not knowing how to find a solution until that door closed too. Eventually, he found Safe Haven Shelter and with a safe alternative to staying on the street, he began to work with staff to develop strategies to help him cope so that his family can stay together.
Every night, kids like Kira and Jacob receive shelter, safety and support at Safe Haven Shelter (located in the Betty Thompson Youth Centre on Weber Street in downtown Kitchener). Sometimes kids come to the shelter in crisis, sometimes they schedule a short-term stay, sometimes they come just so their parents can get a break. Regardless of why they come, children and youth will find safety and support at Safe Haven. The shelter exists because of fundraised dollars from our community - and your financial support is critical to keep the beds open at Safe Haven.
The kids and staff of Safe Haven know the value of this home away from home and want to send a special thank you to:
Plug-In: a group of young urban professionals who hosted a summer event “Alley, Art and Ale” in the downtown Kitchener core raised funds and awareness for Safe Haven youth shelter.
Ride for Refuge bike team: who rode and walked to raise funds for the youth shelter – our team of fully dressed pirates paddling (peddling) for Refuge drew a lot of attention, and was composed of youth from the New Mentality’s local group Ignite, from a local school and staff from the shelter. We raised over $1,000 for our first year of bike riding! Thank you team!
Home Depot Orange Door Campaign: For three years, the Home Depot Waterloo and Kitchener West stores have provided wonderful support through The Orange Door Project, a fundraising campaign with the goal of eliminating youth homelessness in Canada. We are grateful for the energy and creativity from the two stores in making the campaign a success, this year they raised over $13,000 to support Safe Haven youth shelter.