Toque fundraiser aims to help homeless youth
Money will go toward basic needs for youth come to the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth
Posted: Nov 21, 2012 12:46 PM ET
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2012 12:44 PM ET
A group in Sudbury says it needs more money to support youth who are homeless.
The Sudbury Action Centre for Youth helps about 40 teenagers and young adults living on the streets.
For the second year in a row, it has partnered with Canada's Raising the Roof Campaign to sell toques as a fundraiser.
The money goes toward meeting some of the most basic needs of these young people — something that is appreciated by Cody Lavallee, who says he has spent several cold nights sleeping on park benches.A total of 80 per cent of net proceeds from Raising the Roof's Toque Campaign benefit grassroots community agencies that help homeless people in cities and towns across Canada. (Amy Dodge/CBC)
"Even during the summer time, like at 3 a.m., it's like, super cold,” he said.
“No coat, no nothing like that. No bed, blankets ... you're just there and you freeze. You just try and sleep and hope for the best."
Lavallee said he was alone. He didn't have family members or friends to call on to help him.
At 19, he walked through the doors at the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth and met Kylie Raine, a youth program co-ordinator with the centre.
Raine explained the centre helps more than 40 youth who struggle daily to find shelter, food and clothing.
"Some are runaways, some have been kicked out of their homes, some have chosen to leave their homes [and are] running away from whatever situation they were in,” she said.
"In general, they don't trust people. So to have a youth who is homeless and under 18 who will go to school full-time and who has an individual they will live with is very hard to find."
Raine helps youth at the centre to find a home, become employed, gain an education and learn life skills.
There are more than 400 people in Sudbury who are in Lavallee's situation, she added.
Another youth who comes to the centre is Christine McCulloch.
"You come here to eat because you can't afford food at your house,” she said. “We live each day as it comes, pretty much."
McCulloch said she has accessed the centre for six years, and is now clean, sober and heading to college.
Lavallee said the centre has become his new home and the other people who access the centre have become his family.
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