Personal Progress

of goal

Thank you to our amazing contributors!

Nicola Wealth - $250

Grace Budiono - $250

Kelsey Newsham - $30

Anonymous - $151

Andy and Helen Harrington - $50

Anonymous - $500

William Nears - $201

Justin Bauer - $500

Mark Koop - $50

Why Keela Keeping is Sleeping Outside

As part of the Youth Unlimited family, helping homeless and vulnerable youth become housed, resourced and deeply loved is what makes my heart beat and why I wanted to work at YU.

Having spent six years working in the Downtown Eastside community, and becoming personally connection to so many transformational (as well as heart-breaking) stories, it became so clear to me in that time that there was a gap in the early years for those who ended up homeless and addiction on Hastings. There was once a helpless, wounded youth, in need of someone older—a healthy adult who cared—who could offer help and a spotlight on a different path options. We needed more people working in preventions…we needed more people working with at-risk and vulnerable youth.

I noticed that prior to an adult finding themselves living on the downtown eastside, there had often been decades of tragedy, trauma, deep wounding and sever lacks of support and safety nets. For outsiders, the journey from at-risk youth to deeply broken adult happens quietly, out of site from almost everyone. But behind the scenes the visceral suffering compounds until one day, a worn-down, entrenched adult emerges on to the street.

Those future adults though ARE seen. They are seen by YU youth workers in the highschools, the afterschool programs, the online video game meet-ups and roaming the streets.

Those many years ago, I knew Youth Unlimited was there, quietly helping youth behind the scenes, before most anyone knew what was happening, and I wanted to help. I wanted to increase the much-needed net of safety and support.

Our best stories are the ones that didn’t happen—the youth who didn’t join the gang, the one who didn’t end up in prison, the one who kicked the drug habit before it told hold, and the one who got housed at the midnight hour, instead of ending up on the street. These “almosts” are not riveting, but they are incredible. They bring us so much joy knowing youth who were “at risk”, move away from the “risk’ and simply become youth, who become healthy adults.

I am grateful for every minute I get to be part of the work of YU. It is my joy and passion to help sew into it, and to hopefully expand our reach further, to help more youth in need.

YUnite Outside 2021 is now over. Coming soon is YUnite Outside Nov 2022