Street person donates $2K to youth centre

Yellowknifer Charles (Charlie) Delorme, who spent most of 40 years on the streets, donated money from his residential school settlement to the SideDoor Youth Centre.

Yellowknife man shares money from residential school settlement with charity

CBC's Curtis Mandeville reports from Yellowknife 2:27

A Yellowknifer who spent most of 40 years on the streets is giving back to the community in a big way.

Charles Delorme, known by many as "Charlie," recently donated money from his residential school settlement to a local youth centre.

Garry Hubert, executive director of the SideDoor Youth Centre, says Charlie walked into the centre for the first time, said he wanted to give the centre something and handed him a folded piece of paper.

That piece of paper turned out to be a certified cheque for $2,000 made out to the SideDoor.

"I thought it was a mistake," says Hubert. "I thought it might be $20. I thought it might have been $200. When I saw all the zeros, you know —- $2000 — my eyes watered."

The SideDoor Youth Centre holds programs for at-risk youth and provides overnight shelter for teens.  

Delorme recently got his compensation for a residential school claim. He says he used to work with kids many years ago, and he just wanted to do something worthwhile.​

"Just like pennies," says Delorme. "But it means much more to me because it's for the little kids there."

Hubert says after the donation, Delorme said a few heartfelt words to the youth at the centre.

"He said, 'You know, I'm 64 years old. I'm getting a little old and tired. And I just want to say I love you all and God bless.' And the kids all got up and gave him a big hug and that was a very fantastic day."​

Delorme says he has more plans for the rest of his money.

"When I see people on the street there too it hurts me. And I don't like to see them go hungry just like I was before. No place to sleep. No place to call home."

Delorme says he also plans to donate to the Salvation Army and to his family.

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