Just over four years ago, William, now 17, was told to leave his home one night without warning — with no place to go, no plan in place.
The first night, he slept beneath a tree near his school, scared, cold and alone. He was young and homeless in Calgary.
His story has a happy ending: He now lives at Wellington Place, a group home that provides him “a sense of home and belonging,” he said. But that’s not always the case for others afflicted by youth homelessness.
The 13th annual Raising the Roof national toque campaign, with the McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association, will raise funds through the sale of $10 toques to help provide support for solutions to youth homelessness.
The winter warmers will be available throughout the downtown core today from 7 to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the goal of selling 4,000 toques. For every 200 toques sold, one youth can be put through school for a year, or an apprenticeship program for two months.
“(Youth) deserve to have an opportunity to reach their potential,” said Bonnie Malach of the Homeless Awareness Calgary Committee.