“I’ve experienced eviction, living without hydro, going to bed many nights hungry. My social worker referred me to YWS’s Stay in School Program. At Youth Without Shelter I was able to graduate high school with honors.”
(Hannah, past resident of YWS sharing her story,T4C Performance Showcase, Tangerine Downtown Toronto Cafe).
Youth supporting youth resonated throughout Toronto on T4C Day presented by Tangerine. One youth at a time, one step at a time was the underlying theme from the poignant words, “You are a person not a label” in Agincourt Collegiates’ original song, “Turn it all around”; to Crescent School’s theatre piece, “It all happened so fast”; to Havergal College’s sharing of “Hope’s not a dream….we all deserve a home” and dramatic spoken word pieces; to Central Toronto Academy’s emotional interpretive dance movements; to Hodgson Middle School’s stunning art works; to the “One youth at a time” PSA created by Hudson College Students.
Thank you to the more than 600 volunteers who came together at 26 locales creating critical awareness of youth homelessness in our city including: 20 schools and youth groups; 14 corporate partners/service clubs/faith communities; two Olympic medalists; Ennis Esmer and 9 friends; and the many volunteers who have been with T4C since year one! T4C art activism came to life through the leadership of Naomi Tessler of Branch Out Theatre and a host of talented professionals: singer/songwriter Marni Levitt; dance artist Zita Nyardy; theatre artist Pavla Uppal; spoken word artist Lamoi Simmonds; film maker Paul Davis and artist Susan Wolf. To Melanie Ng, Breakfast Television and CityNews Toronto’s Anchor/Reporter, our thanks for hosting the T4C Performance Showcase, putting the spotlight on the staggering realities of youth homelessness.
To our T4C sponsors, thank you for making an investment in the youth of Toronto who are experiencing homelessness, you are breaking down barriers: presenting sponsor and partner, Tangerine; Art & Activism sponsor, Mantella Corporation; Matching Challenge sponsor, Outliers Mining Solutions; T4C’er sponsor, Canadian Scale Company Limited; media sponsors Pattison Outdoor, Pattison OneStop and Faren Agency; and T4C Cookie sponsor, The Bake Sale. Our appreciation goes out to the T4C canvassing location hosts who open their venues up to T4C: the TTC, Brookfield Place, Bay-Adelaide Centre, Hudson Bay Centre, Royal Bank Plaza, Ryerson, 10 Dundas East, Yonge Eglinton Centre and the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area.
The impact of this awareness comes through in the stories from T4C Day: the individual who made a $50 donation sharing with volunteers the donation was in honor of their child who had died on the street; a passerby who literally took the sweatshirt off their back, donating it for those who need it more; and the numerous homeless who gave stating you need to intervene when they are young, you are doing good, don’t let them end up on the streets
On T4C Day 2018 you have changed many lives through the power of many gestures. Together you raised $84,000 to support youth access to transit and empowering support programs at Youth Without Shelter. That is transit fare for youth to attend school, seek a safe place to call home, find employment and new beginnings.
One youth at a time, one step at a time, one donation at a time.