Providing Safe Spaces for At-Risk Youth through After School Programs

img_20141031_181154After school programs are a safe space for kids to go to during the critical hours before their parents come home from work. They help them build necessary life skills, connect with other children in their community, and receive mentorship from instructors who often have shared life experiences.

Keeping Youth Connected is unique program that provides one-on-one support to at-risk youth (ages 13-14) living in Ottawa Community Housing.  The program empowers youth by offering them:

  • Necessary life skill training
  • Emotional support
  • Social development
  • A strong sense of belonging to their communities

Keeping Youth Connected was built on the existing place-based barrier-free school programming offered by Ottawa Coalition Community of Houses. Keeping Youth Connected bridges programming and resources for at-risk youth – keeping them positively connected in their community.

How Your Donation Helps Kids in After School Programs

Your donation helps pay for workshops, staff salaries and buying supplies.  We need sports equipment, tutors, nutritional snacks, and more to build structured programs that engage kids in what they like to do.

The program currently has a capacity of 200 children but with your help we can expand and add more kids.

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What the kids say

“Some of my friends they went down the wrong path and now I don’t see them anymore, and thanks to the family house, it kept me on the right path and gave me opportunities and gave me a chance to just be me. When this neighbourhood wasn’t really as vibrant as it is today, it was easy for kids to go down the wrong path”.
Shelton Gandé, Youth Volunteer at the Debra Dynes Community House.

“And at [13-14 years old] you really want to go outside and discover the world, but you may not end up at the right place. It’s really good to put a program in that spot so it keeps you away from that.”

Israel Panda, Youth Volunteer at the Debra Dynes Community House.

Community Partner

OTFVERTcolour2The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. Each grant tells a story and helps create significant opportunities for positive community change.

OTF has awarded the OCH Foundation a grant that will provide safe, after-school spaces for at-risk youth. Click here to learn more about Keeping Youth Connected.