A tournament that benefits shelter and housing services in Ottawa put the ball in donors’ court on the weekend, and they served up thousands of dollars in response.
The fifth-annual Youth Justice Charity Volleyball Tournament at Immaculata High School yesterday and Saturday raised $8,000 for St. Mary’s Home for pregnant teens and the Youth Services Bureau’s emergency housing shelters and transitional housing services.
The tourney benefits much-needed services here, said Stacey Lauridsen, co-ordinator of the Young Men’s Emergency and Transitional Housing Program. Each with 30 beds, the men and women’s shelters serve 270 people a year through 700 admissions.
Without these, youth would be on the street or staying in inappropriate housing, said Sue Pihlainen, co-ordinator of the Evelyn Horne Emergency and Transitional Housing for Young Women.
Although YSB programs are funded through the city, the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth and the United Way, funds raised at the event help get youth set up when they transition into the community, Pihlainen said.
“They think it’s kind of cool when social workers play volleyball to help them,” she said. “It puts a little bit of the faith back.”
While some of the clients have mental health and addictions problems, most just need a hand up.
“Seventy per cent don’t come back,” said Pihlainen. “Once they get support, they can move forward.”