Impact Report 2020 | Providing 24-7 Care

To our community

This year has been difficult and unprecedented with the challenges presented by COVID-19. Yet, in the face of these challenges, the young people who use our services have demonstrated exceptional resilience and courage. Our team has also risen to the challenges presented, showing commitment, passion and grit.

We have taken many steps to protect everyone’s health and safety, including transferring almost half the youth in our residential program to a hotel with the support of the City of Toronto. This move has decreased the number of youth in shared spaces, including bedrooms, to minimize the opportunity for the virus to spread. We also quickly mobilized mental health counselling via phone and video to support youth remotely during this challenging time. And we restructured our outreach and drop-in services to allow for physical distancing.

Despite these challenges, we have continued delivering on the priorities of our strategic plan, with our yearly results listed below. We continue to focus on housing, health and well-being, employment and education and our prevention and early intervention priorities, all the while maintaining a commitment to our values of unconditional love and respect for the youth we serve.

As this pandemic has taken hold of the globe, there is uncertainty as to what the future will hold. It has only been with your support that we have continued to provide high quality, essential services to youth in need on a 24-7 basis.

Your faith in us and your generosity has been incredible and humbling.


Photo and signature of Executive Director, Mark Aston, and Board Chair, Kenneth Morell.
2018-2022 Strategic Plan | Fiscal 2019-2020 Results
Core values of strategic plan: youth-centred, leadership, collaboration and continuous improvement.

Housing and After-care

Goal: Expand housing and after-care services to meet the complex and diverse needs of our youth.

Health and Well-being

Goal: Improve the health and well-being of our youth.

Education and Employment

Goal: Expand educational and employment opportunities for our youth.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Goal: Expand our initiatives in homelessness and sex trafficking prevention and early intervention to better protect our youth.

Delivering financial sustainability.

Our donors provided 78 per cent of our total revenue last year, and your support has enabled us to offer life-changing programs to thousands of young people.

We ended the year in a much stronger financial position than planned due in part to the outpouring of donor support to help with the substantial costs related to the pandemic and a decrease in our operational expenses.

We continue to see positive results from our efforts to diversify our fundraising sources, while focusing on those that are lower cost. As a percentage of our total revenue, fundraising grew by 2 per cent over the previous year, while government funding remained the same and investment income decreased by 2 per cent.

As a result, we were able to increase our support of our services and programs for youth by $2.1 million over last year, or 71 per cent of our expenses were dedicated to supporting our mission.

We continue to re-invest our surplus to fund our strategic initiatives including upgrades to our facilities, technology and systems improvements to build our capacity, and more recently, the development of a fund to investigate and develop a long-term housing strategy that will provide new housing options for youth. This strategy will have considerable real estate development implications at our main site and in the community to better serve youth experiencing homelessness.

As per our policy, we hold a maximum coverage of up to six months of our annual operating expenses in our reserves to be used for emergency situations.

Fiscal 2019-2020

Revenues: $37.3 million
  • 78% Donations
  • 16% Government funding
  • 4% Investment income and other
  • 2% Amortization of deffered capital contributions
Sources of Donations: $29.2 million
  • 84% Individuals
  • 10% Events/Third party
  • 4% Corporations/Foundations
  • 2% Catholic Charities
Expenses: $33 million
  • 71% Youth programs
  • 23% Fundraising, development and communications
  • 6% Management and administration
Youth and donor stories
Young man smiling wearing pink shirt

“If there’s anything I can do to help someone navigate the system and feel less alone in the world, I’d like to do that. Just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean you’re hopeless.”

- Jim

Read Jim's story

Young woman with glasses looking to the side and smiling

“Your financial status is not an indicator of your character. Your value to this world is found in your resiliency in times of adversity and your empathy for the most vulnerable.”

- Lisa

Read Lisa's story

Covenant House donor Mike Keilhauer

“When a young person has to put all of their focus on survival, there’s no respite. What struck me when I visited Covenant House were the big hearts of the people who work there and the emotional support they provide.”

- Donor, Mike Keilhauer

Learn why Mike supports our youth

Staff from Georgian Partners

“One of our cultural values at Georgian is maintaining a long-term view, and we found that Covenant House embraces this value as well.”

- Juri Zguri, Investor with Georgian Partners

Read about Georgian Partners' support

Lewis and Ruth Sherman

“We wanted to invest somewhere we knew would make a huge difference as fast as possible. Covenant House has the track record to provide the services kids who are at risk need most.”

- Paddy Torsney, Director with The Lewis and Ruth Sherman Foundation

Read about the Foundation's support

Board and senior management.


Kenneth Morell
Senior Global Advisor
Dentons LLP


Diane Karnay

Corporate/Commercial Lawyer


Amanda Lang
Bloomberg North


Kevin Patterson



David Armstrong
Onex Partners


Clinton Braganza
SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, 
Global Marketing

Pamela Bryant
Senior Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
University of Toronto


Kevin Coon
Managing Partner
Baker McKenzie LLP


Paula Courtney
The Verde Group


Lynn Factor
Child Victim
Witness Support Program
Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre


Larry McGirr
President & CEO
HealthHub Patient Engagement Solutions


Himal Mathew
Fathom Strategies Inc.


Susan Paterson
Director of Client Services
RGP (Resources Global Professionals)

Sister Mary Rowell
Sisters of St. Joseph


Chief Mark Saunders
Toronto Police Services


Bruce Shewfelt

Managing Director

Clariti Strategic Advisors


The Honourable Karen Weiler
Retired Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario



Mark Aston
Executive Director


Shirley Broderick
Director, Finance & Purchasing


Josie do Rego
Director, Development & Communications


Carol Howes*
Director, Program Services


Cindy Metzler
Associate Executive Director

*Carol Howes retired in May 2020, and Debbie Schatia joined Covenant House Toronto as Director of Program Services in March 2020.
Thank You

It's because of you that our youth have access to the programs and services they need to build a brighter future. We are grateful to all of our donors, partners and volunteers.

Thanks also to our incredible front line staff for their strength, bravery, and commitment to providing the support young people continue to need during this pandemic.

We are grateful to Catholic Charities and ShareLife for their continued support of our transitional housing and Youth in Transition programs.