The Door Youth Centre”™s annual Shantytown fundraiser

Shantytown is a fund and awareness raiser for the Door Youth Centre and the issue of homelessness in rural communities.

Staff of the Door have been working with at-risk youth since opening. Often youth share the difficulties they are experiencing in their homes and staff then help problem solve next steps.

Shantytown was adopted as a fundraiser after a difficult summer with many youth sleeping under Centre Wellington’s bridges as situations in homes deteriorated.  Staff wanted to expand community understanding about these youth.

In CW, homelessness is less visible than in urban settings. Homeless youth will often “couch surf” at friends’ places, set up shelter in outdoor locations or leave town looking for better opportunities, Door officials note. Yet homelessness for each individual is just as complex an issue as it is for those living in larger cities.

The Shantytown event starts at 4pm at the campground behind the Sportsplex on Sept. 19 and lasts until noon Sept. 20. Participants must fundraise a minimum of $100.

A barbecue for the public will be held at 6:30pm Sept. 19. Diners can tour Shantytown, and the booths of local organizations also working to help those struggling with poverty and homelessness.  

This year’s focus is the ‘attitude of poverty’ – learning that poverty is not just a lack of finances. Participants will spend the night in a shanty and some time the next day discussing the experience and how it challenged them.

Everyone is welcome. For more information call 519-787-0925.