Ryerson RYEPride: Spread Queer Youth Love

RyePride is a Queer & Trans student group at Ryerson University that challenges homophobia & transphobia, while also hosting great events & campaigns. Today was their annual RYEPride flag raising at the Quad located at Ryerson. This being the month of pride many organizations and groups are setting out to promote gender equality within the Canadian society.

Images from the RYEPride flag raising in the Ryerson Kerr Hall Quad on June 1st, 2017 (D’Addese, 2017)

Many youth within Canada end up homeless because they are a part of the queer community. A household is a place that provides safety and shelter in order to protect you from the work, however for some youth who come out as LGBTQQIP2SAA they are in households that question this. 25 – 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ, and there are many reasons which cause them to leave their households such as family conflict and abuse (Abramovich, 2013). Gender is a topic that has become highly questionable over the last 50 years, considering it to have no fluidity. What someone chooses to identify as is all based on their own thinking. There are many youth who are unable to be who they truly are due to the pressures of society. In order to combat queer youth experiencing homelessness then there need to be services that create safe spaces in shelters, households, and overall in the general public.

 

Many youth that are experiencing homelessness have lost many if not most of the social ties with their family, friends, communities, and school (Daniel & Cukler, 2015). Therefore this leaves them having to form “street families” in order to still have the feeling of those connections. The flag that stays soaring high in the Ryerson University Quad is a reminder to youth who are facing hate towards them for being who they are is powerful. It helps to promote a safe community and shows that there are people who support and accept them apart from who they want to be.

For more information about Ryerson’s Positive Space events see:

http://www.ryerson.ca/equity/events-workshops/positive-space-events/pride-at-ryerson/

Sources:

Abramovich, A. I. (2013). No Fixed Address: Young, Queer, and Restless. In Youth Homelessness in Canada: Implications for Policy and Practice. Retrieved from http://homelesshub.ca/youthhomelessness

D’Addese, A. (2017). RYEPride Flag Raising [Photograph]. RyePride June 1 Flag Raising, Toronto.

Daniel, L., & Cukler, W. (2015). The 360 project : addressing racism in Toronto. Toronto, ON: Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.

 

Advertisements

Two hands… one to help yourself and one to help another

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?”.

Image result for covenant house how young ad
An advertisement created by Covenant House Toronto which I saw on my train ride (Covenant House, 2017)

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

Sources:

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

 

 

Conor’s Story: Talks with Street Youth

Reimagining the Response to Youth Homelessness: Conor’s Story (Homeless Hub, 2014)

I came across the Homeless Hub website once before but this time I decided to listen to podcasts they created. The Homeless Hub does episodes which focus on different aspects of homelessness such as youth homelessness, domestic violence issues, and Indigenous individuals. The Homeless Hub was created in order to provide a site where all the collected information about homelessness in Canada was together (Homeless Hub, 2014).

There’s a lot of homelessness that we do not see because not all homelessness includes being on the street. The different types of homelessness include being unsheltered, emergency sheltered, provisionally accommodated, and at risk homelessness (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2012). The podcast I listened to was a story from a youth named Conor who experienced homelessness and was able to come out of it. He left his home around his 16th birthday and was later able to get into a transitional housing program (Homeless Hub, 2014). He has experienced all forms of homeless from being in shelters, group homes, the streets, and couch surfing. Conor touched upon a lot of issues that homeless youth face such as social assistance being poorly designed, and how hard it is to exit the street life since youth have not developed the skills to live on their own.

There is a lot of stigma associated with homeless youth because people automatically think that they chose to be there because they did not want to live with their parents. However, that is not always the case. They could be coming from an abusive household or have parents who are substance abusers, and therefore live in a toxic environment and NEED to leave. Conor is now enrolled at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. Take a look at his story and hear from someone who experienced homelessness as a youth before.

Sources:

Homeless Hub. (2014). Homeless Hub Podcast [Ep 2]: Reimagining the Response to Youth Homelessness. Retrieved from http://homelesshub.ca/resource/homeless-hub-podcast-ep-2-reimagining-response-youth-homelessness

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (2012) Canadian Definition of Homelessness. Homeless Hub. Retrieved from http://www.homelesshub.ca/homelessdefinition/