June 21, 2002

New initiative reaches out to homeless youth and youth at risk

NEWMARKET York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch joined Deborah Headley, Project Co-ordinator of York Region Neighbourhood Services in Newmarket today to launch Lifeline, an initiative to assist homeless youth and youth at risk of homelessness.

The Lifeline project will offer York Region young people between 16 and 24 a central contact to access services in their own community, one-on-one information sessions and assessments, networking and leadership opportunities and more.

"We must continue to address the issues that result in homelessness among our youth," said Chair Fisch. "Despite York Region's prosperity, clearly we are not immune to the problems of young people."

Last November the Government of Canada announced $1.6 million in funding under its Supporting Community Partnership Initiative (SCPI) for York Region and approved the Region's Community Plan on Homelessness. It later designated York Region to administer the funding to address homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless. Earlier this year the Region and the Government of Canada jointly announced that York Region Neighbourhood Services Inc. was allocated $125,000 in SCPI funding for the Lifeline Project.

York Region did a count in the region during the winter of 1999 and identified about 500 homeless people. Of that number, more than half were under the age of 25, with 25% under 14 years of age. Homeless people includes those who are absolutely without shelter, those forced to share accommodation under conditions offering no security or those who are at risk of being on the street in the immediate future.

"The Lifeline philosophy is that all youth are valuable and have potential, and everyone can help in youth development," said Ms. Headley. "Young people benefit most from an inclusive community building process."

Operated by York Region Neighbourhood Services Inc. in affiliation with the Boys & Girls Club of York Region, Lifeline will focus on:

For more information about Lifeline, contact Doreen Jaynes, York Region Neighbourhood Services Inc., at (905) 898-0809 or toll-free at 1-866-243-9925, ext. 11.

York Region Neighbourhood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides a full complement of community programs to approximately 20,000 individuals of all ages in York region. To find out more, visit www.celebrateyouth.net

To view York Region's Community Plan on Homelessness, information on the services York Region offers and links to our nine area municipalities, visit www.region.york.on.ca

For more information on the Government of Canada's National Homelessness Initiative, visit



Doreen Jaynes, York Region Neighbourhood Services Inc

-(905) 898-0809 or 1-866-243-9925, ext. 11


Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1238

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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