CAW Fights Homelessness
June 2, 1999
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CAW national President Buzz Hargrove and other dignitaries knocked down the first of many walls that stand between Canada's homeless youth and a better way of life. It marked the groundbreaking ceremony of 11 Ordnance Street, an innovative housing and training project for homeless youth in Toronto. As part of it's $1 million donation to fight youth homelessness in Canada, the CAW presented project officials with a cheque for $325,000 to fund capital construction of the facility.
Exec. Dir. Eva's Place
"This building will be transformed over the next few months into a facility that assists homeless youth to learn the skills necessary to find and maintain permanent housing and permanent employment. It's not so much getting kids off the street as keeping them off the streets."
The project is an initiative of the City of Toronto and Eva's Place, an agency serving homeless youth. Toronto councilor Jack Layton said the community failed these young people in their time of crisis, they had no housing, no resources and no chance. He said this project provides hope and the groundbreaking was symbolic.
"It's going to be a major transformation so I hope you enjoy the symbolism of it and keep pushing against those walls as you have been until all of them come down and new homes have been built for every homeless person in this country."
Fifty residents will live co-operatively in the facility, sharing living space and receiving skills training in print shop, carpentry and auto mechanics. After an intensive one year program, it's hoped they will be able to move on to a brighter future.
CAW National President
"Walk around any major city. I, as the president of our union, have an opportunity to travel the country and I see the homelessness and watch politicians talk about building bigger and more efficient jails as opposed to this type of project. I believe the way you avoid having to build bigger and better jails is to have more places like 11 Ordnance Street."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."