The Coldest Night of the Year is a winterrific family-friendly walk to raise money for local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. Team up, walk, and fundraise! It’s cold out there... but there’s no place like home.
United Way Simcoe Muskoka is bringing together our communities to reduce poverty and isolation across Simcoe County and Muskoka. Poverty is an everyday reality for more than 60,000 of our friends, family and neighbours, limiting potential, increasing physical and mental health risks and raising obstacles that most people never even have to think about.
Tackling a problem as big as poverty will take all of us. That’s why UWSM is funding multi-year collaborative projects across Simcoe Muskoka. These projects are addressing the root causes of poverty and isolation to drive long-lasting change for our most vulnerable residents.
In Bradford, that project is YouthCALL Service Link, a live-answer telephone service that is assisting transitional-aged youth in a time when they need it most. While many services exist for adults and children, those transitioning into adulthood are often left without resources or help. All this despite the fact that transitional-aged youth experience higher rates of mental health challenges and addiction, and LGBTQ+ youth are at increased risk of poverty due to family rejection, social isolation, homelessness, and a lack of education and employment opportunities.
That’s where YouthCALL comes in. By working one-on-one with local youth, the Community Service Navigator at YouthCALL can help with:
- Crisis Support
- Mental Health
- Primary Care
- Legal Services
YouthCALL also partners with the Gilbert Centre to ensure that LGBTQ+ youth have the supports they need.
So far, YouthCALL has helped connect hundreds of youth with critical, sometimes life-saving, services.
Here’s what one YouthCALL recipient had to say about her time with the program and Kim, the Community Service Navigator:
“Kim has helped me with many things and has always gone above and beyond. When I first met Kim, she helped me find housing by helping me message or call people for a room. I also sent her a lease to read over with me, as well as getting back into school by planning with me and telling one of the teachers about me. I know I can call Kim for help whenever I need to. Kim has even had meeting with me just to help with homework if I was behind or not understanding something. Overall, Kim has helped me with anything I have needed help with or even just to talk. I’m really glad Kim was there to help when I started living alone as it for sure made the process a lot easier.”
In addition to YouthCALL, UWSM supports projects that help those transitioning out of homelessness or domestic violence into a new home, connects social and primary health services, better equips frontline