Toronto, ON (September 26, 2023) – Covenant House Toronto will now be able to expand its mental health care supports to young people experiencing homelessness and trafficking thanks to a donation of $1,000,000 from The Slaight Family Foundation.
Announced today as part of a $26.5 million investment in youth mental health care nationwide, the financial support for Covenant House Toronto comes as more youth show up at our doors with complex mental health and substance use needs. This funding will provide youth-focused mental health and substance use services at a critical time in the lives of the young people we help.
“Funding for mental health initiatives doesn’t just improve lives; it strengthens our entire social fabric,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation. “One of the issues we heard loud and clear was the disconnect between youth discharged from hospitals and the continued community support or services available to them. Investing in these connecting services and programs is an investment in the well-being and future of our youth.”
With the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation, Covenant House Toronto will increase professional staffing resources, which will in turn reduce wait times for youth in need of mental health care. We will also be able to deliver more one-on-one counselling and group sessions for youth staying at Covenant House, as well as offer supports to youth living independently.
The community partnerships made possible with this investment will also ensure newcomer youth can access mental health and substance use supports in their native language. Addiction services will promote safety and provide youth opportunities to connect with peer mentors – an approach that is proven to support young people in moving towards recovery.
Covenant House support services and programs are evidence-based best practice and informed by the impacts of trauma to meet the increasingly complex needs of youth. This approach also focuses on the strengths of each individual young person in their journey beyond their experiences with homelessness and trafficking.
“We know that providing the right level of support at each point in a young person’s recovery leads to improved health outcomes overall,” says Covenant House Toronto Executive Director Mark Aston. “This investment from The Slaight Family Foundation will go a long way to support youth experiencing homelessness and trafficking move forward to brighter future.”
Covenant House helps youth ignite their potential and reclaim their lives. As Canada’s largest agency serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk, we offer the widest range of services to hundreds of young people every day. More than a place to stay, we provide 24/7 crisis shelter and transitional housing on-site, and in the community, along with education, counselling, health care, employment assistance, job training and after care. Since 1982, Covenant House has supported more than 100,000 young people.
The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021), known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, was a leader in the music industry and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture. Allan’s son, Gary Slaight, oversees the foundation as President & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation.
For more information contact:
Sarah Boesveld, Manager of Public Relations & Advocacy
Covenant House Toronto