By Investing in Citizenship Together We Become a Productive Community
June is Canadian Citizenship Month at The Windsor Residence for Young Men.
Our program was founded and remains designed to produce productive citizens from impressionable but homeless young men who might otherwise become broken men draining on our community resources, involved in crime, addictions, violence (domestic, chauvinistic and otherwise), dependent on welfare to exist. We do this by modelling a healthy family, sometimes the only functional family our guys have ever known, with respect for all, including one’s self.
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.
Our community offers a wide-range of phenomenal services for women and children that are survivors of domestic violence and who are escaping abusive situations. But what about our guys (16-20 years of age)? What about a young man who has lived through that trauma, is a victim of abuse and wants to escape? Do male youth not get punched, hit or kicked, sexually assaulted or taken advantage of ? Do male youth not feel pain too? Since Jan 1, 2021, over 83% of the guys in our Transitional Housing Program were survivors of abuse. According to the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, "A child who has incurred a traumatic experience without proper care, has a higher likelihood of developing long-term psychological and physiological challenges in life." So, we must act. "Trauma is pervasive. It can be life changing, especially for those who have faced multiple traumatic events, repeated experiences of abuse or prolonged exposure to abuse. Even the experience of one traumatic event can have devastating consequences for the individual involved." (Canadian Center on Substance Abuse).
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, it’s 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.
Unfortunately, our government seems to only sponsor shelter nights or room & board, not residential counselling and programming providing the life skills to transition youth off the street.
Consequently, our community also has to give to get productive citizens from homeless youth who’s prospects only get worse the longer they are on the street.
As a result, some of our supporters have pooled pledges to match your donations during the month of June, ending on Canada Day. At present, the donation match “pool” is up to $5,000 “deep”. If you wish to participate with a donation, mark it “citizenship”. If you wish to encourage others with a significant donation match, mark it “ citizenship match”.
Last year, we managed to raise $16,925, sponsoring two residents. This year, we need to additionally raise $10,196 more to renovate our main bathroom after 10 years of hard use.
You can click here or mail your cheques to the residence at the address below:
1505 Langlois Ave., Windsor, ON, N8X 4M3
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.
Stay safe and please share this with your friends.
Gregory D. Goulin, LSM, JD