The Home Depot Canada Foundation announced today it's increasing its investment to prevent and end youth homelessness to $125 million by 2030. The foundation recently surpassed its initial $50 million pledge with more than $5 million disbursed across Canadian communities through The Orange Door Project Campaign, TradeWorx and innovation grants for its 15 Regional Partners over the last several months.
Youth homelessness continues to be on the rise in Canada, where homeless youth make up approximately 20 percent of the homeless population and evidence suggests over 50 percent of adults experiencing homelessness have their first instance before the age of 25*. The Home Depot Canada Foundation's renewed commitment focuses on enabling systemic change through investments in three strategic pillars: expanding stable housing for youth, providing quality wrap around community supports, and increasing youth employment readiness.
"We have been fortunate to partner with some of the country's leading experts on homelessness, helping to inform how we increase support to youth, expand our prevention work, and stay core to our mandate – to prevent and end youth homelessness in Canada," said Pamela O'Rourke, vice president of merchandising, The Home Depot Canada and chair of The Home Depot Canada Foundation. "We've seen the impact of this work in action and are thrilled with this next phase and how much more we can do to support youth in our communities."
Focusing on innovative programming models, fostering sector-wide collaboration, and research that identifies the root causes of the barriers youth face, this funding will be granted annually through: Community Development Grants, Youth Opportunity Grants, Strategic Partnerships, TradeWorx and The Orange Door Project Campaign. The funding will be executed through an equity framework, significantly increasing support for organizations that support underrepresented youth, including Black, Indigenous, female-identified and gender diverse, LGBTQ2SIA+, and new Canadian youth.
"The youth we serve face racism, discrimination, violence and exploitation and obtaining supports to deal with these issues is uniquely hard for them," said Kayla Stubbs, Director of Operations, Ndinawe. "In our partnership with The Home Depot Canada Foundation, we feel heard and they look at us as the experts in our community when it comes to working with youth. This makes this one of our most effective partnerships."
Last year, the foundation introduced TradeWorx, a targeted investment to combat youth homelessness by creating opportunities for career education and skilled trades training. As part of today's announcement, The Home Depot Canada Foundation will increase its commitment to $2 million by the end of 2022 to provide 200 youth across Canada with the skills and certifications needed to help them build a career and attain permanent housing.
Since 2013, The Home Depot Canada Foundation has supported more than 850 community partners across the country, investing more than $50 million towards preventing and ending youth homelessness.