October 2020
Sylvia Grant
Ontario, Canada
Recipient: Youth Haven   Initiative: Grant

Thank you so much to The Garden Outreach Project for your generous grant toward offsetting grocery costs for Youth Haven here in Barrie.

The Youth Haven is the County’s only emergency shelter for youth experiencing homelessness. Youth Haven provides young people with the love, support, guidance, programs and life skills needed to foster their sense of well-being and security and help equip them with the life skills required to live independently and become healthy, productive men and women.

I reached out to Youth Haven to ask what was most needed and I expected to do a big shopping trip filling the cart with all sorts of items required to run a shared home. Instead I was told that their biggest expense at the moment is groceries.

With Covid and social distancing rules, the young people cannot stay in the shared home but have to be temporarily housed in a hotel. This means they also don’t have access to a shared kitchen facility where they can make bulk meals at once. Volunteers have been making 20 person meals in their own kitchens and bringing that food into the hotel! Clearly this isn’t sustainable 3 times a day, 7 days a week.

The $250 grant makes a huge difference toward alleviating some of that grocery pressure.

So instead of filling my shopping cart with items, I purchased gift cards. When my kids and I arrived to give the donation we received a tour from the amazing Executive Director, Lucy Gowers. Lucy is such a powerful force for good. She has an amazingly positive attitude and it was such a pleasure to spend some time learning from her.

And as a bonus we were also able to leave behind some Bibles and Bible literature as well!

I am so grateful to The Garden that this request was approved. It was such a wonderful experience to be involved in this gift and reach out to those in need in our community.

So Garden, thank you again and may God continue to bless the efforts of all your outreach initiatives.

All the best,

Sylvia.