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Press Release: Hand To Hand Community Embraces Dufferin County Homeless Youth

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The directors of Hand To Hand Community Services FDN spent this Christmas Eve visiting CHOICES Youth Shelter in Orangeville Ontario, bringing with them cookies and milk to give as a Christmas gift to the many homeless youth Choices Youth shelter supports, and to learn more about youth homelessness, in Dufferin County, from Mary, the executive director of Choices, and has been for the past 12 years.

WireService.ca Press Release - Dec 24, 2012 - CHOICES Youth Shelter goes far beyond the adaptive philosophy of providing merely a temporary bed to sleep in. CHOICES Youth Shelter provides a series of counseling and life skills development programs, aimed at empowering homeless youth, with the goal of transcending poverty by improving employability through training and support.

CHOICES has innovated their philosophy to embrace a preventative approach to youth homelessness. By doing this Choices hopes to target the source of youth homelessness before it begins. Choices does this by mediating and offering programs/services to youth still living at home that face a high risk of becoming homeless. These Preventative steps are also offered to Teens and young adults that have recently suffered a family breakdown.

Mary is very protective of her clients, and acts as an advocate helping clear up public misconceptions about homeless youth , who in essence, desperately want a place to belong. For the kids that fall through the cracks and end up at her door ,with nothing but the clothes on their back, CHOICES provides a cozy home, movie nights, gingerbread house decorating, board game tournaments, and not just a home but more importantly a family. The home is warm, wholesome & loving, nurturing a family environment; many past residents still return to the shelter every year for Christmas.

Responding to the call of local businesses concerned about the quantity of loitering homeless youth in downtown Orangeville, Program Director of Hand To Hand asked Mary for ideas on a solution. Mary responded that she had a dream of opening a day time drop in centre full of programs and resources. These kids are smart, and eager, and want to improve. They need a growth oriented platform, which Mary & CHOICES would be happy to provide with community support. Hand To Hand Community Services is eager to help them gain that support.

Hand To Hand Community Services receives stable funding from Triple R Recycling, an environmental waste diversion service that helps keep landfills from receiving an estimated 900,000 tons of recyclable textile waste a year. Triple R Recycling does this through their many clothing recycling bins across the province of Ontario. The clothes that are collected are not sold to thrift stores. Instead, donations are sorted and shipped to countries around the world, that lack in affordable clothing. Hand To Hand focuses on redirecting those donations back to the local communities where businesses & property managers offer their support, by permitting clothing bins to be placed on their properties at no cost.

Francis Genovese
416-481-0251
info@handtohandcommunity.org
www.handtohandcommunity.org

 


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