I’m sitting on the train on my way to work and when you really don’t want to make eye contact with someone you begin to read the subway ads. I glanced over a couple and then came across a Covenant House advertisement. It read “How Young Do they have to be before we give a damn?”.
I feel as if since after taking a week-intensive class focused on homelessness in the Canadian Society that I am seeing more of it daily. Or maybe, I am beginning to really take in these ads and understand the need of them. The Covenant House is not just an emergency youth shelter, but also provides services, programs and guidance towards adulthood for youth experiencing homelessness (Covenant House, 2017). Most people would look at this ad and think “Why should I donate my money, why don’t they just get a job, or why don’t they just get city funding”, which are reasonable questions but the answers are not simple. I always tend to ask the last question as to why they don’t get funding from the city, but it all depends on whether or not the city wants to give them funding. A lot of agencies are allocated some tax dollars, but then have to apply for additional funding in order to keep their doors open.
There is so much money which circulates around the City and yet where I feel the money needs to be spent, it is not. Governments spend roughly more than $4 billion a year in order to deal with homelessness in Canada (Gillies, 2012). It actually costs more money maintaining homelessness than to end it. Until the government decides to take action organizations such as the Covenant House will rely on people’s donations in order to continue helping people with needs.
For more information on donating to the Covenant House and letting the youth know you give a damn see the following link: Covenant House Donations
Covenant House. (2017). Covenant House – Homeless Youth. Retrieved from https://www.covenanthousetoronto.ca/homeless-youth/Home.aspx
Gillies, B. (2012). Giving the homeless a place to live costs less than providing shelters and emergency services. Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2012/10/15/giving_the_homeless_a_place_to_live_costs_less_than_providing_shelters_and_emergency_services.html