Get the big picture.*

*Impact Report  2013-14  

Balancing an unimaginable scale.*

*Mission  Youth Without Shelter is an emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth. We are dedicated to providing shelter and support programs for homeless youth ages 16-24. We provide an independent shelter, committed to diverse, client-focused services, in a safe, non-judgemental environment. Our programs enable youth to live responsibly and independently in society.

Vision  Ending homelessness…one youth at a time, one step at a time.

Values  Accountability, client-focused, collaboration, communication, creativity, excellence, diversity, integrity, respect.

Board of Directors  Chair David Mielke, Vice Chair and Treasurer Moez Bawania, Secretary Peter Campbell, Directors Amy Barkin, Mohamedali Dharamshi, Halinka Dybka, Talya Gaborieau, Fariyal Hasham, Tracey Irwin, Abbas Kassam, Tony Small, Nick Viris

Advisory Board  Dan Shea

Resilience Based Case Management Youth Without Shelter practices resilience based case management  which is based on identifying and building upon the strengths of each youth. For most it may be the first time an authority figure has recognized their abilities and indicated belief in their capability to achieve success. This greatly improves the youth’s self-esteem and builds the confidence needed to achieve their goals.

Managing a big world.*

David Mielke and Wendy Horton in black and white

*Management Letter  Hundreds of youth passed through our doors this year looking for a way off the street and on to independence. They have shown us that despite the many obstacles they must overcome, they are resilient and responsive when the services and understanding they need are provided. We look back on the past year with pride at the things accomplished and lives changed. There are many people who have joined forces to make Youth Without Shelter the innovative and respected organization it is. We are most grateful to all those partners, funders, donors, and volunteers who play an integral role in empowering us to provide thoughtful and impactful services to our youth. We also thank our dedicated staff and Board of Directors for their commitment and significant contributions. Their passion for the work they do has enabled us to strengthen our programs and services while maintaining a high standard of service delivery and fiscal accountability. We know that the youth who knock on our door have experienced life’s worst experiences, yet have extraordinary strength. We are proud to be a safe haven for them where they can find respect, support, and the opportunity to grow. Moving forward, we remain fully committed to providing the meaningful services that assist the vulnerable youth of today in achieving their dreams of tomorrow.

David Mielke's signature

David Mielke

Chairman of the Board

Wendy Horton's signature

Wendy Horton, CAE

Executive Director

George's Story

Growing up, George’s family life was in constant turmoil. Early on, George spent time in foster care when his Dad could not control his temper. At 16, George made the decision to leave home when his father insisted he drop out of school, and make money, an education was not needed. George was determined to get an education. He turned to “couch surfing” moving from one friends home to the next. When that was no longer an option he found his way to a shelter. Throughout it all George remained in school. It was a shelter housing worker who recommended George apply to Youth Without Shelter’s Stay in School Program and eight months ago George moved in.

George has now finished Grade 12 and is attending an adult high school to take additional courses and improve his marks. George’s favorite subject is Chemistry, where he recently received a grade of 95%. What’s next for George? College – George’s goal is to be a paramedic. George: “I’ve found the resources I need to be able to focus on finishing school. I can concentrate on my studies; there are computers, quiet spaces. Bus fare had become a big obstacle in getting to school. I really value the TTC pass provided in SIS.”

Balancing an unimaginable scale.*

*Our Programs 

Emergency Residential  Our 30 bed residential program addresses the needs of diverse youth who unfortunately share something in common; they are victims of abuse, abandonment or have no family at all. Youth Without Shelter welcomes each resident into our brightly painted, comfortable environment and provides crisis counseling, safe shelter, nutritious food, clothing and hygiene products.

Stay in School  The 20 bed Stay in School Program addresses the many barriers homeless youth face in completing their education. Along with safe housing, clothing, hygiene products, nutritious food and counseling, the program provides those things that enable youth to succeed in school. Tutoring, computer time, school supplies, transportation and perhaps most importantly, support and encouragement are provided on an ongoing basis.

Employment  The youth unemployment rate is at an all-time high. Considering this and the fact that our clients have no fixed address and in many cases limited education, the challenge for our youth to find employment can be daunting. Our employment counselor provides assessments, job searching assistance, resume writing and interview skills development along with employment appropriate clothing. Connections to training programs, career shadowing and volunteer opportunities are also made.

Housing  The young people at Youth Without Shelter often encounter socio-economic status and age discrimination when seeking housing. Our housing workers guide and support them through the process of attaining permanent housing. When housing is obtained, workers provide them with household goods and referrals for necessary furniture. In order to ensure the stability of the youth’s housing, we continue to offer support to former residents with laundry facilities, a food bank, housing worker meetings as needed and a bi-weekly social program.

Steps to Success  The majority of youth who seek our aid have poor life skills. In order to address their needs, the Steps to Success Program offers a variety of workshops presented by our staff as well as partner agencies. Topics such as budgeting, healthy sexuality, substance use, anger management, communication skills, among many others are presented. Recreational activities are also provided to develop social skills and ease some of the inordinate daily pressures these youth face.

Educational Outreach  The Educational Outreach Program’s interactive workshops, conducted in grades 3-12 in local schools, break down stereotypes and myths and introduce the student to the realities of youth homelessness. The goal of the program is to build knowledge, tolerance and empathy. An additional goal is to the make the students aware of the resources in that community that can provide assistance in preventing and responding to family emergencies.

Elizabeth's Story

Nothing Elizabeth did was ever good enough for her father. Conflict with her father escalated to the point that on her 16th birthday Elizabeth’s father kicked her out. This did not make sense to Elizabeth as in her words she was “a great student, teen leader and simply a decent teen that most parents would be proud of.” When Elizabeth arrived at Youth Without Shelter (YWS) she was homeless, confused and scared. She was also angry as she felt she did not deserve her fate and she didn’t want to be hurt anymore. Elizabeth took advantage of all the programs available to her at Youth Without Shelter. Working through a plan created with her case manager she obtained new skills, confidence and housing of her own.

Elizabeth is now attending college full-time in a Social Services Worker Program. Her goal is to assist young adults in the future to strive towards their own self-sufficiency. Elizabeth: “It took the staff team to open my eyes, reminding me that I do have potential…things could get better, but I would have to go out and get it. I started to engage in all that YWS had to offer: housing information sessions, art, and cooking. I learned how to cook different foods, more advanced computer techniques, how to write an effective resume, and a little valuable thing called time management. I knew better things were to come if I allowed them to help me and I did. This place should be called “Youth With Support”.

Big efforts.

Big change.*

*Measuring Impact 

Emergency Residence 

Issue: 10,000 homeless youth in Toronto in one year or 3 out of every 100 youth are homeless in Toronto.


10,556 safe bed nights

52,780 meals/snacks

10,090 hygiene products

5,337 case management meetings

831 clothing items

1,092 referrals

807 client goals completed

Stay In School Program 

Issue: Unemployment rates among high school drop-outs are twice that of high school graduates.


6,468 safe bed nights

32,240 meals/snacks

719 hygiene products

613 school supplies

213 monthly transportation passes

6 school graduations

Employment Program 

Issue: Youth unemployment in Toronto is 18.1%.


46 employed

602 case management meetings

22 employment workshops

307 employment clothing items

255 transportation assistance

Housing Program 

Issue: Vacancy rates in Toronto are 1.6%.


89 permanently housed

923 housing meetings

20 housing workshops

420 moving supports

491 former resident stabilizing supports

Steps to Success Program 

Issue: Many homeless youth lack the life skills necessary to live independently.


441 workshops

2,890 attendees

Educational Outreach 

Issue: Homeless youth find it hard to connect with teaching staff and peers at school who cannot understand what they are experiencing.


17 schools

30 workshops

707 student attendees

Michael’s Story

Michael was 19. He had never needed a shelter before, but he found himself without a job and no money to pay for his rent. Michael came to Youth Without Shelter (YWS) and called it his home for eight months. Daily he attended the Steps to Success Program acquiring life skills and knowledge through workshops on hygiene, sexual health, and substance abuse. Through the Housing Program he learned about his tenant rights, how to be a good tenant, budgeting and how to search for a home of his own. The YWS Employment Facilitator worked with Michael on updating his resume and with his job search. He explored volunteer roles to expand his work experience and was thrilled to secure a volunteer role helping children learn to read.

Throughout his stay he worked very closely with his YWS Case Manager and is now living on his own. When moving out Michael left a note of thanks: “I want to thank all the staff for making my stay at YWS a wonderful experience. I will take the skills and knowledge I learned at YWS to better my future.” Michael: “Every time I needed someone to talk to my case manager was always there to listen to what I had to say. I felt so supported at YWS. The doors were always open when you needed it.”

Conquering the simple

*You the “volunteer” have a real impact on the lives of youth at YWS 

Total # volunteers: 2,450 

Words from the youth you have helped:

“Thanks for all the love you show us and the caring. Even though we don’t have a family, you make us feel as if we have one. Thank you.”

Total # volunteer hours donated: 15,875 that translates into 661 days or 1.81 years! 

Words from the youth you have helped:

“Thank you for the time you invested in us.”

Total # employee groups: 34 employee groups tackled 65 projects from outdoor beautification to creating welcoming spaces through painting. 

Words from the youth you have helped:

“Thanks for painting my room. You guys made it feel more like home 4 us.” “I’m thankful for the new room which gives me a feeling of being able to have a fresh start to each day.” “It shows how painting the room can make us go so far.”

Total # of “Early Bird” hot breakfasts served up to start the day by volunteers: 15 

Words from the youth you have helped:

“I am a huge cheese lover and it might be weird that I started my “thank you” like this but very much appreciated. It is honestly really generous of you to take time out of your day to see what the life of a youth in this shelter is like and to make a meal. Your time and kindness is hugely appreciated.”

Total # of nutritious meals provided by volunteers: 100 

Words from the youth you have helped:

“Thanks for the delicious and succulent meal.”

Robert's Story

Robert’s mother was a sex trade worker and struggled with a crack addiction. He had never known his father. At eight years of age Robert ran away with his sister. Children’s Aid stepped in to provide assistance. Robert has been on his own since he left his adoptive parents home at 16. Independence has been Robert’s goal. He has always had work and maintained his own housing. A summer flash flood washed him out of his rental apartment. Subsequently his apartment was beyond repair. With no savings and no alternatives he landed at Youth Without Shelter (YWS) in the emergency residence.

Robert is working full-time in the restaurant industry. As part of his YWS case plan, the YWS Employment Facilitator has been working with Robert to explore opportunities for advancement into a restaurant management role. At the same time the YWS Housing Coordinator has connected Robert with supportive youth housing where he can save some money for the future while being employed. At YWS Robert has taken the next essential steps to living independently and is very focused on getting his life back in order.

Overcoming an overwhelming world.*

*Fundraising and Fiscal Responsibility 

YWS carefully allocates your donations to maximize the investment in the young lives who need it the most. An estimated average 85% of every dollar donated goes directly to youth programs and support leaving only an administrative and fundraising cost of 15%. Words from the youth whose lives you have invested in: “I am the impact of donations to the shelter. What I have achieved would not have been possible without all those who support YWS. If I a former resident of YWS can come back and give, then anyone can give. It does not have to be a big donation, many small donations can make a difference.” YWS is recognized by Charity Intelligence as an outstanding Canadian charity: for leadership, cost-efficiency and, most importantly, bottom-line results in getting the job done in helping our youth clients. Words from the youth whose lives you have invested in: “To all of you who contribute to Youth Without Shelter in any way I have no way to express my gratitude to you other than to say you do more than build lives you save them.” At YWS we work in collaboration: with a volunteer board of directors and finance/audit, fundraising and human resource committees to accomplish our mission. Words from the youth whose lives you have invested in: “ I am now pursuing a career in social services so that I one day might have the opportunity to pass on the lifelong gifts that I have received from such a wonderful support system. As I have come to learn YWS should be called “Youth With Support”. YWS works transparently with donors: Annual Impact Reports and Audited Financial Statements are posted on the YWS website; and all donation programs operate within the Donor Bill of Rights adopted by the Canadian Association of Fundraising Professionals. Words from the youth whose lives you have invested in: “At YWS I did not feel disadvantaged, my morale was not broken, and I was never made to feel like I lived in a shelter. The support prepared me to be on my own out there. YWS helped me focus and learn to listen.”

Jay's Story

Walk through Jay’s elementary school and you will see his name front and centre on the honour student recognition wall. Graduating into high school Jay felt tremendous pressure to continue to excel at school. To relieve that pressure Jay began to self-harm by cutting himself. He hid the cuts on his arms and legs by wearing long sleeves and pants no matter the weather. Jay felt his family could not understand the pressure he was under. Conflict at home escalated. One day in Grade 11 Jay packed up his clothes, left home and sought shelter at Youth Without Shelter (YWS). When Jay met his YWS Case Manager she encouraged him to talk. She did not judge or criticize, she listened. Jay recalls he felt for the first time his feelings were being “respected.” He continued to attend school every day although he found it increasingly hard to concentrate and his grades were plummeting.

As the trust developed between Jay and the Case Manager she asked him to meet with one of the shelter’s partners, an agency that specializes in youth mental health. In time, Jay was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Jay’s journey has not been an easy one. He has had periods of family reconciliation, hospitalization, new health challenges and adjustment to medication. Jay persevered and has been living in his own place now for more than two years. Throughout it all he has maintained ties to YWS, calling the shelter his “safe haven.” Jay frequently attends the former resident’s Supper Club to enjoy a hot meal, have a chat, and access the on-site food bank. Jay has enrolled in a college photography program. He aspires to open a business designing custom skateboards. Jay: “I have two numbers on speed dial on my phone: 911 and YWS.”

Growing confidence, together.*

Statement of Financial Position as at March 31, 2014 

Current Assets
Short-Term Investments
Accounts Receivable
Prepaid Expenses and Deposits
Internally Restricted Investments
Property and Equipment
Assets Held in Trust
Liabilities and Net Assets
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities
Deferred Revenue
Deferred Property and Equipment Grants
Long-term Forgivable Capital Loan
Funds Held in Trust
Net Assets
Designated for Capital and Contingency Funds
Invested in Property and Equipment

Statement of Operations for the Year Ended March 31, 

Government Funding
Grants and Fundraising
United Way
Amortization of Deferred Grants
Total Revenue
Residential Program
Stay in School Program
Steps to Success Program
Housing Program
Volunteer Program
Educational Outreach
Employment Program
Total Expense
Excess of revenue over expenses

*Thank you for your investment in the future of the youth who call Youth Without Shelter home. 

*Thank you for your investment in the future of the youth who call Youth Without Shelter home. 

Primary Funding Partners:

  • City of Toronto
  • United Way Toronto

Adopt-A-Bed Monthly Donors

  • Eddie Alkemade
  • George Amaral
  • John & Caroline Cho
  • Nicole Craig
  • Louise Hope
  • Wendy Horton
  • David Lawson
  • Sarah Lerchs
  • Lynn Manning
  • Sheila Masters
  • David Mielke
  • Karin Miskovsky
  • Muzunza Musumbulwa
  • Rhonda Nemeth
  • Misato Okutsu
  • Janet Percival
  • Darren Persaud
  • Michael Reel
  • Emma Reid
  • Michael Reisacher
  • Morgan Russell
  • Fazeeda Sarju
  • Lynne Strathern
  • Eva Swenson
  • Judith Weir
  • William E. Wilson
  • Ahmet Yazar

Room Mates Donors

  • Bangia Family
  • Barker Family
  • Benecaid Health Benefit Solutions Inc.
  • Bromstein Family
  • Humber Students Federation
  • Karen Trimble
  • Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada Corporation
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Stratafly Inc. and Prospect Media
  • Vallis Family

Corporate Community

  • Aecon Group Inc.
  • AJB Software
  • Alliance Films Home Entertainment
  • Bake Sale Inc.
  • BTI Brand Innovations Inc.
  • Canada Bread Company Limited
  • CIBC
  • Cirillo’s Culinary Academy
  • Community Involvement Team Richmond Hill (Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada Inc.))
  • Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport
  • Da Vinci Banquet Hall
  • DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd.
  • Empire Banquet Halls
  • File Bank
  • Foxy Jeans Co
  • General Mills Canada Corporation
  • GUESS? Canada
  • Hewlett Packard (Canada) Company
  • Hosted Villa’s
  • Insight Productions
  • Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
  • Jang Contracting Ltd.
  • John Wiley and Sons Canada Ltd.
  • Levi Strauss & Company Canada Ltd.
  • Mark’s Work Wearhouse (Milton)
  • Medium Rare
  • Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada
  • Corporation
  • Moneris Solutions
  • Morgan International
  • National Silicates Ltd.
  • New York Fries
  • OANDA Canada
  • Ogilvy CommonHealth
  • ORBIS Canada Limited, Menasha Corporation
  • Pattison Outdoor Advertising
  • Pizza Pizza Training Centre
  • Print Three
  • Puh-Nash
  • Reser’s Fine Foods
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Schneider Electric
  • Sears Canada Inc.
  • Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
  • Stratafly Inc.
  • Tai Lung Canada Ltd.
  • TD Bank Financial Group
  • TD Commercial Banking
  • TELUS Communications Inc.
  • TELUS Corporation
  • The Home Depot Canada Inc.
  • The Woodbridge Corporation
  • Tim Hortons Head Office
  • Toronto FC
  • UPS Canada Ltd.
  • Vending Products of Canada
  • Whirlpool Canada LP
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group
  • Wrigley Canada

Faith Communities

  • All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church
  • Bedford Park United Church
  • Bereca Ministries International
  • Behta Darya Community Church
  • Bharat Sevashram Sangha
  • Bloordale United Church
  • Bread of Life Ministries
  • Caravan of Hope
  • Faith of Life Network
  • Fellowship Presbyterian Church
  • Graceview Presbyterian Church
  • Holy Family Coptic Catholic Church
  • Humber Valley United Church
  • Humbervale United Church Women
  • Imdadul Islamic Centre
  • Islington Evangel Centre
  • Islington United Church
  • Kingsway-Lambton United Church
  • Kingsview Village Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • Martin Grove Baptist Church
  • Martin Grove United Church
  • Revival Time Tabernacle Worldwide Ministries
  • Royal York Road United Church
  • Sai Nilayam Spiritual Organization
  • St. Matthias Anglican Church
  • Toronto Diocesan Anglican Church Women
  • University Bible Fellowship Church
  • Yog Vedant Sewa Samiti of Canada


  • Aston Family Foundation
  • Canadian Online Giving Foundation
  • Charities Aid Foundation Drive
  • CHUM Charitable Foundation
  • Drew Hildebrand Teen Benefit Fund
  • Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation
  • Hydro One Employee’s and Pensioner’s Charity Trust
  • Intact Foundation
  • Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation
  • Norman Black Foundation
  • Paloma Foundation
  • St. Judes Project for Homeless Youth
  • The Bedolfe Foundation
  • The C. Dennis Flynn Foundation
  • The Gandy Family Charitable Foundation
  • The Home Depot Foundation
  • The Hustler Young Men’s Bible Class Foundation
  • The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Toskan Casale Foundation
  • Trek for Teens Foundation Inc.
  • Winkworth Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Mississauga

Agencies, Associations, Clubs and Schools

  • Centennial College
  • Charity Intelligence Canada
  • Crawford Adventist Academy
  • Emily Carr Secondary School
  • Etobicoke Quilter’s Guild
  • Georgina Lodge No. 343 G.R.C.
  • Greenwood College School
  • G.T.S.W.C.A. Special Functions Imprest
  • Humber College
  • I.O.D.E. Kathleen Drope Chapter
  • John D. Parker Elementary School
  • John G. Althouse Middle School
  • Junior League of Toronto
  • Kingsway College School
  • Knights of Columbus Our Lady of Grace Council, 3401
  • La Citadelle International Academy of Arts and Science
  • Lakeview Lodge #272 I.O.O.F.
  • Mechanical Contractors Association Toronto
  • Mentor Educational Inc.
  • Montrose Public School
  • North York Harvest Food Bank
  • Rendezvous Club
  • Rexdale Community Health Centre
  • Rotary Club of Etobicoke
  • Second Harvest
  • Sierra Global Foundation
  • Sikh Youth Federation
  • St. Aidan Catholic School
  • St. George’s Golf and Country Club
  • St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School
  • Teachers Life Insurance Society (Fraternal)
  • Tennis Canada
  • The Backpacks 101 Project
  • The Student School
  • Thistletown Collegiate Institute
  • United Way of Peel Region
  • Volunteer Toronto
  • West Humber Collegiate Institute
  • West Mall Lightning Hockey Association
  • William Osler Brampton Civic Hospital
  • Windfall Clothing
  • Cooks Care 2013
  • Cirillo’s Culinary Academy
  • Hope Beckwith Group
  • Leavoy Rowe Beef Co.
  • McClelland Insurance Brokers Limited
  • SCE Construction Management Inc.

On The Right Track 2013

  • Avison Young Real Estate Management Services
  • Barcrow Transport Inc.
  • BTI Brand Innovations Inc.
  • Contac
  • File Bank
  • J.E. Russell Produce Ltd.
  • Lakeview Lodge #272 Independent Order of Oddfellows
  • Metroland Media Group Limited
  • Pattison Outdoor Advertising
  • Reser’s Fine Foods
  • Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
  • SNAP Newspaper Group
  • TD Bank Group
  • UPS Canada
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group
  • Yamana Gold Inc.

Tokens4Change 2014

  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Boston Pizza International Inc.
  • Category 5
  • Faren Agency
  • ING Direct Café (Toronto)
  • KiSS 92.5
  • KPMG
  • Mantella Corporation
  • Pattison Outdoor Advertising
  • Rogers Media Inc.
  • Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
  • SNC-Lavalin Inc.
  • 10 Dundas East

T4C Partner Schools

  • A.Y. Jackson Secondary School
  • Blyth Academy Lawrence Park
  • Blyth Academy Yorkville
  • Brooklyn College
  • Crawford Adventist Academy
  • Crescent School
  • The Dragon Academy
  • Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School
  • George Brown College of ESL
  • Greenwood College School
  • Havergal College
  • Humber College
  • Fieldstone King’s College School
  • The Linden School
  • Martin Grove Collegiate Institute
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute
  • University of Toronto
  • Upper Canada College
  • WillowWood School
  • York Memorial Collegiate Institute
  • The York School

Lives are being enhanced with your partnership. Thank you.

There is so much more to be done. Your investment can make young people’s dreams possible. Whether you would like to make a gift on-line at, by cheque or credit card, through a legacy or in honour of a special someone, your investment will transform a young life.

To start the conversation, please call our Development Office at 416.748.0110 ext. 26 or

“Speaking to youth that have been transitioned by Youth Without Shelter staff is always inspirational. They almost always talk of “the family” they found here, how they will never forget what the staff and supporters gave them in assistance, knowledge, encouragement and just in time. How the community cared enough about them at a time when they thought that no one even knew they existed.” David Mielke