Family Violence, Metal Health, and Homelessness
Commonly, we are asked "why do most of the youth at WRYM become homeless?" Some folks will guess drug use, criminality, financial management, etc. It is my opinion that many citizens we speak to assume the fault is in the youth and their actions. Perhaps it is easier for someone to accept the reality that young people live on our streets if the blame can be placed on them.
Although every youth has their own story and each is unique, there is a commonality that we think is noteworthy for our supporters to be aware of. Last year 88% of youth in our Transitional Housing Program identified being victims of family violence and/or survivors of abuse. Interestingly enough, 88% of youth also identified suffering from one or more mental health concerns.
We think this reality is crucial for us to publicize often and loudly: the majority of the youth we serve grew up in environments where they suffered horrific abuse. Most of whom are now suffering from mental health concerns as a result of historical trauma.
It is well-known that survivors of trauma require a unique approach to move forward and establish resiliency. In response, we are excited to announce that WRYM has developed and begun a Family Violence Recovery Project within our Transitional Housing Program, where residents can get increased staffing support, as well as receive in-house counselling regularly.
We want to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the Solcz Family Foundation for funding the Family Violence Recovery Project and believing in the importance of the young people we serve. The significance of your faith and support in this effort is beyond words.
WRYM Golf Tournament in Full Swing
We want to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers, supporters, and participants who have signed up to join in our annual golf tournament Sept 10, 2023. It is so exciting to see the amount of support we have received from local businesses, as well as the 60+ golfers who have signed up. It is going to be such an exciting day!
Thank you for making this event possible.
Thank you for being a friend and support to WRYM.
Four Months to Change a Life
In April, Martin's parents decided they were leaving Canada. Although Martin pleaded for them to stay, he was left in Canada alone, without somewhere to live or other family to turn to. Being a student without any income, rental experience, or knowledge of the systems to help him, Martin was unequipped to survive on his own and turned to the Windsor Residence for Young Men for support.
While living at WRYM, Martin was able to eat 3 meals a day, take care of his personal needs, have a safe place to work on his schooling, and get support from our team to help him create a plan to overcome his homelessness. Over 4 months in the program, Martin successfully finished his semester of school, AND gained employment. We saw this young man grow exponentially, turning into a confident and independent young adult who became increasingly able to self-resolve day to day issues and challenges.
Although we are going to miss him, we are so excited to announce that he is moving into a private market rental on August 1st! It's hard to imagine living in a country with no family, no income, and minimal life experience. When you add homelessness into that dangerous mix, the odds of overcoming such extreme challenges seem astronomical. BUT, because of this residence, our team, and your support, we are so thrilled that Martin beat the odds.
Moments like these are special for us, and we want to share the success with you. Now our attention turns to the other 7 youth in the house, and all the others who follow them. One at a time we truly are ending homelessness for youth.
WRYM's Annual Golf Tournament - Sept. 10, 2023 @ Rochester Place Golf Course
If you are interested in a truly fun way to cap off your summer in 2023, please consider joining us for our golf tournament on Sept. 10, 2023.
Attached to this email is all the information for the tournament, as well as sponsorship opportunities for anyone who may be interested in supporting our work while also promoting their business.
As WRYM receives no municipal or ongoing government funding, we truly rely on our corporate, business, and individual sponsors to continue housing youth like Martin.
Thank you for considering joining us and we hope to see you out there.
INVESTing in Citizenship was a Great Success!
Thanks to you, we are excited to announce that our Invest in Citizenship campaign raised $47,055! We find it incredibly inspiring that so many individuals chose to celebrate Canada Day by helping us give youth experiencing homelessness a chance to become healthy and productive citizens of our community.
On behalf of our entire team and the many youth we serve, THANK YOU!
What if Community was a Part of the Solution?
The Homeless Hub recently shared an interesting article about youth homelessness and ways a community can combat it. Although WRYM is not technically a "host home", we think the ideas and lessons shared by the Homeless Hub in this article showcase why our work is so vital. If you're interested to learn more, please see below.
WRYM's Annual Golf Tournament - Sept. 10, 2023 @ Rochester Place Golf Course
We are so pleased to be running our 4th Annual Golf Tournament on Sept. 10, 2023. All levels of golfers are welcome to sign up.
For those who don't want to golf, please consider joining us for a delicious meal and some fun raffle opportunities!!!
Additionally, if your business is interested in cost-effective advertising opportunities while also helping us end homelessness for youth, our sponsorship options are a fantastic way to expose your company to new potential customers and support the work we do at WRYM.
🍁 By Investing in Citizenship Together We Become a Productive Community 🍁
June is Canadian Citizenship Month at The Windsor Residence for Young Men.
This year Greg Goulin and Brian Cohen have each pledged $10,000, ($20,000 in total), to match your donations during the month of June, ending on Canada Day. If you wish to “meet their match” with a donation, mark it “citizenship."
Our program was founded and remains designed to produce productive citizens from impressionable but homeless young men who might otherwise become broken adults draining on our community resources, involved in crime, addictions, violence (domestic, chauvinistic and otherwise), and dependent on social assistance. We do this by modelling a healthy family, sometimes the only family "our guys" have ever known, with respect for all, including oneself.
Homeless male youth 15-25 years of age are 8 times more likely to die “on the street” than their peers; and, males have a suicide rate 3 times higher than females. While males of the same age are the most violent demographic in any society, they are also the largest group to present with the most serious injuries and wounds at Ontario’s emergency wards. As well, they silently suffer about 40% of the sexual assaults within that age range. They, too, have been the victims of domestic assault; but, hopefully we can model a functional family to learn from and prevent repetition.
We invest your donations in our guys’ future; but, they have to apply for admission and establish that they want to change their plight. WRYM is not a shelter to attend for a bed and a meal; rather, its program is similar to a scholarship program sponsoring those who want to learn basic life skills while staying in school or employment, if not seeking to do so.
In other words, our guys have to give to get – that’s citizenship.
Consequently, our community also has to give to get productive citizens from homeless youth whose prospects only get worse the longer they are on the street.
Thank you for looking kindly upon these young men; because they have tremendous potential. Even if they are “hard to hug” sometimes, they deserve a decent chance in life.
Note: Existing monthly donations, in-kind and donations for other purposes, are not eligible for “match”. To “match” you can click on the donation square below or mail your cheques to the residence before June 30th.
🎉 Thank You to All of Our 50/50 Participants 🎉
Congratulations to Kimberly Rathbone, who purchased the winning 50/50 ticket and won $827.50!!!
What Our Graduates Say About WRYM
When a resident leaves us, we always reflect on the individual's journey to make sure they received the support they deserve / need. It is important to determine if our youth have any recommendations for how we could have improved the support they received or improved their time in the residence. This occurs through our "Discharge Survey," where past-residents are given the opportunity to tell us how their time in WRYM went. Listed below are some direct quotes we wanted to share with you:
"The program was useful and assisted with transitioning at a good time. I was provided with what I needed, while also given enough space to create/build independence."
"WRYM helped me remember appointments and make a schedule that was appropriate. It gave me routine. I got my basic needs met."
"What I found most beneficial was life skill assistance (cooking, cleaning, transportation, advocating) from staff, and kindness. I feel like I grew up while being here in a positive setting."
"The staff and residents made me feel safe."
"I have supports to help when needed now"
Thank you Plasman Inc.!
We are so excited to share that Plasman Inc. has invested in WRYM's Youth Independence Program, by donating an amazing "Smart Board", which will help us teach our life skill lessons through sharing multimedia and creating engaging group discussions.
Below is a link to learn more about this exciting donation. We cannot thank Plasman Inc. enough for their many years of support and friendship.
We have a New Flyer!
It isn't always easy to summarize the many ways our organization supports youth to help end their homelessness; but, we feel our new flyer does the job! Attached is an electronic copy for your possible interest. Please feel free to share this with friends who may be interested, or with a youth / family that may be looking for support.
Thank you for being a champion of youth experiencing homelessness and The Windsor Residence for Young Men. Without your support, we could not help improve so many lives.
A Rough Night with Good People
Thank you Ontario Trillium Foundation for your $89,500 Investment
Starting April 15, 2022, WRYM began a 12 month project to adapt and rebuild our Aftercare program in order to respond to client needs that were intensified due to the pandemic and its psychosocial impacts. Last Friday, (February 24, 2023), we were pleased to host a recognition event here at WRYM, in order to update the community and our stakeholders on the project and the impacts we have made so far. In our first 10 months of operations, we have supported 102 youth in their efforts to maintain housing and well being, with over 2,000 different individual supports provided. If you would like to learn more about this work and our partnership with OTF, please see the news article below:
Want to Help Decide who Makes Windsor-Essex's Best Burger?
Until March 31st, you can purchase a "Burger Battle Passport" for just $20, to get "buy one get one free" burger/fry coupons from a variety of Windsor-Essex's most prominent burger restaurants. Your passport also gives you the opportunity to vote on who makes the best burger! Proceeds of the event will go to The Welcome Center and The Windsor Residence for Young Men. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Windsor for putting on such a deliciously exciting event, and being a partner of WRYM. Please see the attached flyer for more information!
Without you, there is no WRYM. Thank you for being a partner, supporter, friend, and champion of youth experiencing homelessness.
5 Years Later - From Homeless to College
In 2018, Jeremy had been kicked out of his parent's house and hospitalized for significant mental health concerns. When being discharged from the hospital, Jeremy had nowhere to go and came to WRYM looking for help to get his life back on track and help him resolve his situation of homelessness.
Over 7 months at WRYM, Jeremy learned a lot of life skills, continued accessing support from mental health professionals, participated in counselling, and gained a tremendous amount of confidence in himself and his perspective about his future. We were so thrilled when Jeremy moved out in the summer of 2018 in order to live in a supportive environment where his needs would be met.
We wanted to share with you that Jeremy's story did not end there. Jeremy continued his progress and was able to enter into independent living, gain employment, begin a committed relationship, start college, and volunteer for a local food bank.
Today, we are pleased to announce that Jeremy (name changed for privacy) will be receiving The Windsor Residence for Young Men's Deacon Ray Scholarship. This scholarship will provide Jeremy $1,000 to assist with his navigation of school related expenses and costs, as he continues college and giving back to the community through his volunteer work.
Thank you to Edy Hadad, who established and continues helping fund the Deacon Ray Scholarship. We are honored to memorialize Deacon Ray in such an inspiring way.
Rough Night Out Fundraiser - February 10, 2023
On February 10th from 7pm to 7am, volunteers are raising funds and awareness, by sleeping outside (roughing it out) here in the backyard of The Windsor Residence for Young Men. Please see our flyer and registration, linked here.
Anyone can be involved, even if you are unable to attend or remain outside for the entirety of the event. Modified participation is certainly possible, if you would like to join but have limitations of any kind.
Want to support the event, but cannot participate? No problem! Please use the link below to sponsor the event and our participants 😊. The sacrifice and commitment of our participants is truly outstanding, and we hope you will consider supporting them in their effort to end homelessness for youth.
Thank you, Greg
For the past 7 years, I have had the honor of assisting Greg Goulin with WRYM's Netletters, be they small contributions or a second set of eyes. It has been an honor and privilege to watch as Greg volunteered his time to spread WRYM's message and share our progress with you.
Although Greg is still an active Director at WRYM (and a wonderful friend), he has chosen to take a step back from publishing the netletter and he will enjoy a bit more freedom in his well-deserved retirement.
Subsequently, I would like to extend a deep gratitude in thanking Greg for being our Netletter author these many years and a wonderful mentor. I aim to continue to provide you with updates and information about WRYM of interest so that we can all take joy and pride in the work being done.
Our Guys had a Good Holiday
Many of them were able to visit family again, if only for a few days at most; but, that is often the best ``remedy`` for homelessness. Mary Lynne and Hubert Lafontaine, as is their custom, cooked a full turkey dinner for those in residence which was supplemented by treats dropped off by others. Lots of leftovers, which is strangely humorous to hear the guys, otherwise homeless, complain about! It is difficult to explain how important the holiday season is to a youth at WRYM who is often disconnected from their families or loved ones. Keeping spirits high for our residents during the holidays can be easier said than done, but due to an amazing team and some incredible champions, we are pleased to tell you that it seems thar “our guys” had a very happy holiday.
As well, they all received plentiful and appropriate Christmas bags, (needed, extra and just plain fun things), thanks to your generosity. Speaking of which …
Thank You for Your Donations during our Season of Giving
Your thoughtful kindness raised $69,115 in donations and pledges; not quite as much as $82,193 last year, but a most significant amount in any event, especially in these economic times!
And finally, you will be hearing less from me in the future.
(Hurray, you may say, less pestering!)
After 13 years of advocacy and fundraising before our doors were opened, (some lawyer ☹), and then 10 years of operations resulting in unimagined success thanks to great staff, volunteers and others; another couple of health issues will likely result in less participation on my part. The social justice issues that “our guys” faced have been significantly overcome, for them; and, they will always remain close to my heart, hopefully yours as well.
Stay safe, and share this with your friends.
On behalf of “our guys”, staff, volunteers and myself, THANK YOU ALL for your generosity this Season.
Donations and pledges have reached $62,315 with 11 days to go!
Last year we raised $82,193, or just over 20% of this year’s budgeted expenses; so, your kindness by keeping “our guys” close to your hearts is very significant. I must also note that as our 10th year comes to a close we have had our 400thadmission, keeping our promise to our community of 40 a year; but, we did not anticipate a 90% success rate, maintained for several years now, nor national recognition of our program at the conference of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. It seems our investments in the homeless male youth of our community has been worthwhile in producing many potentially productive citizens.
As you may know, since the back of my neck was removed to prevent quadriplegia, I have been “working remotely” and don’t get out much anymore; but, all things in life have their blessings. After almost 60 years, I have been able to become a watercolourist again, even if a two-fisted one with little feeling in my hands. As a youth, I was very fortunate to have been tutored by Bill Stidworthy, a renowned artist with work in the Art Gallery of Windsor’s collection. Thanks to Bill’s blunt appraisals of my efforts, I was even able to win a few prizes back then; and now, working on a post-rainfall scene, I remembered some of his advice: water is not blue, it is many colours and it has texture, of ripples at least, as well as “reflections”. Bill said:
“ Look with your eyes, not your mind, and then think about it ! ”
It was good advice, in many ways. I ask you to do the same with “our guys” and WRYM, please.
Wishing you the Very Best of the Season, and Thanking You for providing the same to “our guys”,
In less than a week our supporters have donated $12,740 to “match” the $10,000 pledged by Capital Power; and, it seems that we need more Matching Donors – such a problem!
While your almost instant and significant generosity is very surprising, perhaps it is reflective of your faith in the effectiveness of our program which received national, (and some international) recognition early last month when our Executive Director, Jason Weinberg, was invited to the conference of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness to present on our innovative and highly successful Youth Independence Program, (if innovative means getting back to basics). Or, possibly you have noticed that WRYM did not have an outbreak of COVID19 throughout the pandemic due to health and safety procedures we instituted, while maintaining our 90% success record transitioning our guys out of homelessness. Again, it may be that you realize that we are the only residential program in our community that serves all homeless self-identifying male youth 16-24 years of age, in house and after they move on, regardless of their religion, immigration status, and sexual orientation; noting as well that we seem to be the only residential facility for homeless male-oriented Trans youth; and, that “our guys” all get along!
Thank you, Stay Safe and the Very Best of the Season to all.
Please share this with your friends and encourage others to support our efforts.
Gregory D. Goulin, LSM, JD (ret.), Founder
The Windsor Residence for Young Men
1505 Langlois Ave., Windsor, ON, N8X 4M3
an incorporated registered charity # 879631810RR0001
www.wrym.ca Cell: (519) 981-9917