InsideToronto published a story that only tangentially relates to the mayor and city politics this week, but I thought it worth highlighting. Written by Cynthia Reason, it’s the story of Etobicoke youth Kurstin Jones — not his real name — who was homeless until he found Youth Without Shelter:
After nearly a year living at Etobicoke’s only youth shelter – more than nine months of that time spent studying in YWS’s Stay in School program – Kurstin’s life is now back on track. He’s just one credit shy of his high school diploma, he’s got a $17/hour factory job lined up, he’s reconciled with his mother and now counts her as his best friend, and he’s got a serious girlfriend.
As Executive Director Wendy Horton put it: Kurstin is one of the ones who’s ready to take the leap towards independence.
Jones is 19 now, and the article notes he played (but never saw much game time) for the Don Bosco Eagles. He even slept on the bench by the football field some nights when he had nowhere else to go. By my math, his coach during this time would have been then-councillor Rob Ford. He’s coached the Don Bosco Eagles since 2001.
Youth Without Shelter receives operating funding from the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto.
This story could come in handy if (when) the mayor starts making moves towards cutting funding for community shelters.