If you saw someone fall overboard off a ship you wouldn’t hesitate to lend a hand to help them out. That’s the analogy Youth Haven Executive Director Nathan Sykes uses when he talks about the help homeless youth in Barrie need. To drive home the point, Youth Haven is holding a Coldest Night of the Year Walk this Saturday (City Hall, 5pm). An opportunity, says Sykes, to get a taste of what it’s like to be homeless on a cold night, without having to spend an entire night outdoors. On any given night there are 50-75 homeless youth in the city. Youth haven is only able to accommodate 25. But Sykes says this is about more than finding shelter for a night, it’s about long-term health and well-being. That means recruiting volunteers to help with day-to-day operations and mentors to can teach skills. Sykes tells the story of one homeless youth who went on to law school. Log onto coldestnightofhteyear.org/location/barrie for more information and to volunteer, sigh up for the walk or sponsor someone else.
To learn more, listen to our interview with Nathan Sykes below.