What began as a charitable donation has steadily grown into a multi-faceted relationship between Concert and Etobicoke-based emergency housing and support agency, Youth Without Shelter (YWS).
Concert, a developer that prides itself on making a difference in the communities where it develops, first approached the team at YWS about their Adopt-a-Bed program in 2014. The program provides safe shelter and nutritious meals to homeless youth aged 16-24. Concert pledged to contribute a portion of proceeds from each sale at The Kip District Tower One, the first of five towers in the company’s second master-planned community in Etobicoke. For every suite sold, Concert is donating the funds required to provide emergency accommodation for one young person for the equivalent of one month – ultimately providing a total donation of $213,000.
The program is one of many services the organization provides to youth in need. Since its inception in 1986, YWS has helped more than 14,000 homeless youth build their confidence and life skills while finding long-term stable housing and jobs.
“We were drawn to YWS because of the incredible amount of support they provide for homeless youth located in Etobicoke and across the GTA,” says Andrew Gray, Vice President, Eastern Region at Concert. “I’m proud,” added Gray, “to have seen our relationship grow over time into a real community partnership.”
Now a regular supporter of YWS fundraising initiatives, Concert has developed its own version of YWS’s Youth Engagement Day, where Concert staff visit the shelter to directly engage with homeless youth. For the past two years, nearly 20 volunteers from the Toronto Office have participated in a day of interactive games and activities for the youth who call YWS home. Development Manager Henry McQueen has even gone one step further by joining an advisory group that looks for additional ways to help the young people who require the assistance of YWS.
Judy Leroux, Development & Engagement Manager of YWS, is excited about the evolving partnership, “Together with Concert, we’re breaking the cycle of homelessness and assisting each youth as they journey to a life of self-sufficiency.”