The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is a one-of-a-kind experience that engages young people in social change and empowers them to participate in the growing of compassionate communities.
The Refuge Registered Charity Number
The Refuge is a registered with the Canada Revenue Agency and is designated in the poverty reduction category. Our CRA registered charity number is:
84725 2764 RR0001
What makes The Refuge different from other charities and non-profits?
THE REFUGE IS NOT A BAND-AID SOLUTION
- Our focus is preventing homelessness and breaking the cycle of youth homelessness. We believe that this cycle can only be changed by helping young people face their inner brokenness and begin a journey of healing. We support them as they strengthen themselves, transform their lives and move in a healthy new direction.
- Our approach is youth initiated, this means that each individual has the freedom to ask their own questions, seek answers/solutions and make transformational choices.
- Our daily Second Chance Youth Centre and weekly Rec Room and Levi's Table progams provide meals, meet basic needs and restore dignity. Through these programs we build a loving, non-judgemental community where we develop, resotre and strengthen personal relationships.
- We build an individualized support system and direct youth to internal programs that will further help them and/or to external prorgrams and services that will work in conjunction to help them move in a positive direction.
- We work closely with youth to restore dignity, empower them to make healthy choices and set personal goals.
- People are the most valuable resource at The Refuge.
Read about what some youth testimonials.
Watch Voices Winter 2013 about what it is really like in prison, on the other side of the fence.
Visit our facebook page and other social media channels to keep up to date.
Our programs are at the core of what we do and at the heart of our mission. Not only do The Refuge programs help youth improve in key areas of their lives but they introduce them to the healing power of Christ.
- Our intervention programs are designed to help youth identify the life skills that they need to improve upon and provide opportunities to heal. Through our programs, youth transform their lives and have hope for the future.
- Our transitional programs help youth identify goals and next steps to help them graduate and move forward in their lives.
- We are passionate about communicating, educating and engaging people in preventing the homelessness cycle through our prevention programs such as In Another's Shoes and One Homeless Night.
Visit our program page to read details about our programs.
When and who was The Refuge founded?
- Dave Peppiatt started the Refuge in 1999 because he was obedient to God’s calling on his life to reach out the many street involved and homeless youth in Oshawa.
- He was walking through Memorial Park in downtown Oshawa and noticed many young people hanging out. He brought a lighter and a pack of cards with him and began having conversations and building relationships with these youth.
- Dave quickly learned that these youth had no where to go, no one to help and were in desparate need of community and the love of Christ.
Who does The Refuge serve?
- All youth under the age of 24, absolutely no one is turned away.
- We see many newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
How many people work for The Refuge?
- We have five full time staff and one part-time staff
- 50 regular volunteers
- Refuge youth regularly volunteer at The Refuge
- Refuge youth are hired occasionally to cook, clean and maintain the centre
Visit our staff page to meet our team.
How does The Refuge look for volunteers and what jobs do they do?
- The Refuge is fortunate to have so MANY volunteer applications therefore we rarely have to "recruit," we do keep postings on our website and advertise via facebook, twitter, emails and word of mouth
- Formal application, interview and placement process is in place very similar to an employment application
What are the requirements for Refuge volunteers?
- Accept our mission statement and statement of faith
- Provide an original and current criminal record check for the vulnerable sector is required
- Minimum one year commitment minimum because consistency is what builds trusting relationships in our caring community
What are the volunteer tasks?
- Cleaning and maintaining our facility
- Preparing meals and doing dishes
- Building healthy relationships and community
- Running programs and services
- Assisting with special events
MAKES A DIFFERENCE
The Refuge offers relief from hunger through our daily meals, clothing and day programs because it is what our youth need. Unlike other services that focus on housing-first and emergency relief, we are there for our youth in a longer-term relationship based on love and restoring dignity. We have built a loving community where youth come to heal because they do not feel judged. This is how we focus on breaking the homelessness cycle.
How has The Refuge made a difference in the Durham Region?
3573 young people
have accessed The Refuge programs and services lives since 2002
573 unique individuals
at The Refuge in 2012 up from 504 in 2011
275 new youth
in 2012 up from 262 in 2011
with youth such as conversations, health care visits, couselling, tutoring, and program interactions in 2012 up from 9,262 in 2011
11,736 meals served
in 2012, up from 10, 304 in 2011
Educating and engaging over 4500 high school, college and university students
THOUSANDS of lives HEALED and TRANSFORMED
youth full of HOPE
COUNTLESS lives improved...
The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa
INCOME and EXPENSES
Review our audited financial statements:
- We apply government funding to capital expenses, such as renovations of our youth center.
- We depend on personal, corporate, and church donations and special event revenues for our daily operation and program expenses.
FUNDRAISING SPECIAL EVENTS
Please visit our special events page for details:
- Coldest Night of the Year, walkathon
- Annual dinner
- Ride for The Refuge, motor bike ride
- Durham ¼ Marathon
- h'Art of the City, art show and sale
- Christmas Wish Catalogue
What percentage of the donations go to providing services to youth?
- 100% of donations go to youth support and services
What are The Refuge's short term goals?
- Demonstrate love, kindness and grace to each individual who walks through our door
- Build trusting relationships with each youth to find out what they need
- Refer youth to REFUGE PROGRAMS and external programs and services that would help them to meet their own needs
- Maintain a safe, healthy and caring communtiy for youth in need
What does The Refuge want to accomplish in the next five years?
- safe, healthy and sustainable emergency and/or transitional housing within our mission and vision
- sustainable social enterprise that employs the youth
What will The Refuge do with $5000?
- Our emergency fund has supplied live-saving insulin to a diabetic youth who went into shock because he could not afford his testers or insulin. Due to Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) cuts, our youth cannot afford first and last month's rent. The emergency fund is used to pay for first and last month's rent for a young girl who has been forced to "pay," for a different warm place to sleep each night with her body. We cannot allow these injustices to continue therefore this is the best use of the $5000 you will raise.
- Read more about CSUMB and other Social Assistance Benefits changes.
- We are the only youth drop-in centre focused on demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ, engaged in transforming lives and dedicated to breaking the cycle of youth homelessness between Ottawa and Toronto.
- The Refuge loves youth unconditionally and we do not judge, therefore youth feel safe and empowered them to heal.
- The Refuge focuses on the individual as the KEY to their own success.
- The Refuge is a community and family support for youth who are otherwise alone in this world.
The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost. ~G.K. Chesterton
Is The Refuge as a grassroots social service provider?
- We meet youth at the street level where they are in the present.
- We do not recieve government assistance
- We are not managed by a corporate entity
- We are an independent grassroots social service provider.
Do you have facilities on site?
- We have an professional kitchen that serves hot and healthy breakfast and lunch every weekday during Second Chance Youth Centre and on Friday night Rec Room and Sunday night Levi's Table.
- We have shower & laundry facilities, a clothing and hygiene room, baby supplies, computer access and telephone access during the community meal drop-in programs.
- Classroom for IAS
- Small backyard and social garden (youth tend, grow and eat from the garden in the summer)
Do you want to expand?
We are not sure what, where or how God wants us to proceed, but there are a variety of different expansions and/or adaptaions that we are carefully examining to better serve our youth:
- We need to make sure that we maintain our sense of community and belonging, where each youth is loved and nutured so we have to be careful to maintain this intimacy
- The increase in numbers might lead to another Refuge in another part of the Region, Province, Country
- There is a very large need for sustainable housing and employment for our youth, therefore The Refuge may need to grow and adapt to better serve our youth
- Transitional Housing where we could support the youth and provide living skills traning to maintain secure housing
- Social Enterprise would be a sustainable model to employ youth and teach valuable workplace skills