Youth Haven’s Boxes of Hope campaign raises over 72K

Youth Haven is Simcoe County's only emergency shelter for youth experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness

Once again, people from all walks of life decided during the holiday season to “be the difference” in the lives of youth who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of being homeless.

Youth Haven’s annual Boxes of Hope campaign raised $72,380.

“It is remarkable but not surprising,” said Lucy Gowers, Youth Haven executive director. “Time and time again, our communities band together during the holiday season to give our youth a Christmas, and for that we are grateful.”

Gowers said while youth in emergency, transitional housing and outreach care appreciate the presents under the tree on Christmas morning, the donations from individuals, businesses, churches, schools and others go beyond that.

“It is a sense of belonging that is also important to these kids. It is not lost on our youth that there are people in the community who care about their well-being.”

Each Box of Hope costs $50, and the campaign also ensures youth are provided with meals, a warm bed and counselling services throughout the year.

“There is no place like home for the holidays, as the song goes, but for the kids in our care, that isn’t always possible, so we do what we can to make it feel like home sweet home during the holidays,” said Gowers.

In 2022, Youth Haven provided support to approximately 600 youth in Barrie and area.

Youth Haven serves as Simcoe County’s only emergency shelter for young people, and provides emergency, transitional housing and outreach services for youth ages 16 to 24 who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of being homeless.

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