This Saturday marks, metaphorically, the coldest night of the year.
“…you get funny looks from people like you’re in more of a different situation than they are.”Blake Leface, Youth Haven resident
The annual fundraising effort in support of Youth Haven kicks off at Barrie City Hall Saturday evening, supporting the youth homelessness shelter’s residents.
Blake Leface is one of those residents, and while he has benefited from the shelter, he says no one chooses to be homeless. “We have our donations bin at Youth Haven, where we get clothes donated and its kind of free for all and free pickings.” says Leface, “When you’re wearing stuff that kind of looks worn down on the streets, you get funny looks from people like you’re in more of a different situation than they are, and you’re kind of broke. Sometimes. Most of the time.”
Blake is one of dozens of residents of Youth Haven, a shelter that sees its services in increasingly high demand; it is literally a haven for kids aged 16-24, offering case management, counselling, life skills, and employment services, which was welcome news to Leface “They helped me get my identification, they have a housing worker that comes in every Monday and Wednesday, they have a doctor that comes in Thursdays. They’ve got a lot of beneficial programs, they’ll help you set up your resume and everything.” While the facility can sleep 25, it is consistently at capacity.
Over 200 walkers have already registered for this Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk. More information can be found on the Coldest Night of the Year website or on its Facebook page.