Coming Home Society and Urban Native Youth Association win National Innovation Award by Eva’s Initiatives

by NationTalk on May 8, 20081838 Views

Young Wolves Lodge initiative wins $5000

VANCOUVER, May 8 – The Young Wolves Lodge, an initiative of the Coming Home Society and Urban Native Youth Association, is one of three recipients of Eva’s Initiatives 2008 Innovation Awards. Young Wolves Lodge was created to provide a safe and nurturing home for young Aboriginal women, aged 17-24 who are homeless and at-risk in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The five-bed house offers a four month residential alcohol and drug recovery program while providing safe, stable, transitional housing, and incorporating Aboriginal teachings into the design of program activities, including life skills , goal-setting, cultural teachings and building community supports. In operation since 2003, the Young Wolves Lodge is a partnership with Urban Native Youth Association, the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster and the Federal Government – Homelessness Partnering Strategies program. Contributions from the business community helped furnish Young Wolves Lodge. Urban Native Youth Association Executive Director Lynda Gray says “We commend Eva’s Initiatives and CIBC for their support of our unique partnership to support Aboriginal youth. We are encouraged that others recognize that Young Wolves Lodge is a prime example of how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations can work together to better meet the needs of Aboriginal youth.”

Eva’s Initiatives National Innovation Awards, sponsored by CIBC and now in their third year, recognize the innovative work of organizations from across the country that are delivering services to at-risk and homeless youth by working with community partners to help youth achieve greater self-sufficiency. There were over 50 applicants for this year’s awards which were reviewed by a seven-member panel of leaders in the youth service sector.

Each Award winner receives $5000.

“At CIBC, youth have been a strategic area of focus for many years,” said Irene Ing, CIBC Vice-President for the Lower Mainland. “We are proud to support Eva’s Initiatives and the Innovation Awards and salute the Coming Home Society and Urban Native Youth Association and their Young Wolves Lodge initiative on being recognized for its exemplary work with at-risk aboriginal youth.” CIBC has had a long-standing relationship with Eva’s Initiatives, to which it has contributed $150,000 since 2005.

The other two Innovation Award winners for 2008 are SIDA/AIDS Moncton for its Youth Asset Program and the YMCA of Greater Toronto for its Peel Youth Village.

Since 1994, Eva’s Initiatives has been working with homeless and at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24, to get them off the streets permanently. Eva’s operates three shelters in the Greater Toronto Area that house 122 youth each night. Its shelters provide homeless youth with emergency and transitional housing, harm reduction services to address drug and alcohol use, counselling, employment and training programs, housing support and services to reconnect youth with their families. Each year, Eva’s helps over 2,300 homeless and at-risk youth to get off the street, find housing and community supports, and begin to rebuild their futures.

For further information: Rachel Gray, Acting Director, National Initiatives, Eva’s Initiatives, rachel@evas.ca, (416) 569-7891, www.evasinitiatives.com; Lynda Gray, Executive Director, Urban Native Youth Association, (604) 254-7732, lgray@unya.bc.ca; Linda Adams, President, Coming Home Society, (604) 351-8025

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