Youth and Homelessness: How The Home Depot Canada Foundation Helps Bring Them Out of the Shadows

For several years, The Home Depot Foundation has supported community organizations across the country that work with homeless youth.

Youth and Homelessness: How The Home Depot Canada Foundation Helps Bring Them Out of the Shadows

For several years, The Home Depot Foundation has supported community organizations across the country that work with homeless youth. Because the needs are growing, it has decided to increase its commitment to $125 million by 2030 to prevent and end youth homelessness. It thus exceeds its initial objective which was to distribute 50 million dollars by 2022.

Of all the philanthropic causes, why did you choose youth and homelessness? “It is a reality that is very present, but which unfortunately is rarely talked about, explains Steven Vetrone, District Director of Operations at The Home Depot and administrator of the Home Depot Canada Foundation. We wanted to make it more visible. It is also an important mission that is in line with the values ​​we put forward, namely taking care of our people and giving back to the community in which we live.

Needs to be filled

In Canada, despite community efforts, youth homelessness continues to rise. Studies estimate that around 20% of the homeless population is under the age of 25, which represents 35,000 people a year who knock on the door of shelters.

Among them, more than 40% found themselves homeless for the first time before the age of 16. A start in life that very often leads to dropping out of school, which limits their chances of entering the labor market. They experience housing instability, lack meaningful social connections and experience physical and mental health issues.

In 2021, the Foundation donated more than $5 million to 33 Quebec organizations, including Mission Bon Accueil and Adojeune. She is also a major and longtime partner of Dans la rue, to which she has paid more than $1.4 million since 2015.

The Foundation's support for this organization has taken various forms: financing renovations to provide a warm and safe environment for young people, financing its employability programs and the Emmett Johns school, volunteer assistance from teams of employees of several Home Depot stores, in-store fundraising campaigns with the Orange Door project.

“All these organizations are already doing a lot, but they still need to do more, hence our decision to more than double our commitment, explains Steven Vetrone. We are thus responding to their requests to expand their services in order to better support young people and help them reintegrate into society.”

make a difference

The help provided to these organizations has made a difference for many young people. This is the case of Alex *, a former student of the Emmett Johns school. That's when he saw an ad for a training at a video game center that changed his life. “I applied and did a six-month training with two internships. Then I got the job. In the street helped me a lot. Especially by having people to talk to, people who were there to listen to me, support me, guide me towards other projects, other futures and other advancements,” he says.

The services of Dans la rue have enabled Jean-Michel to continue his studies so that he can now practice the profession he loves. "I often picked myself up at the day center when I needed to eat," he says. It really helped me. It felt good to feel welcomed, not to be judged. It allowed me to continue my studies. If Dans la rue hadn't been there for me, I would surely have given up. Now I have the chance to do what I love. I am a glass blower.

As for Léa*, the Dans la rue workers helped her regain her motivation. “They made me realize that I was valuable to them. They gave me hope in my abilities,” she says.

Do you want to do your part to help these homeless young people? Just check out the Home Depot Canada Foundation website at:

www.homedepot.ca/fondation

“It is through collective effort that we can prevent and end homelessness among young people,” concludes Steven Vetrone.

*All names are fictitious.


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