Two hundred people came out to support AJOI at a fundraiser dinner on Thursday night.
The organization has served homeless and vulnerable youth aged 12-30 in the West Island since 2007.
Now, AJOI wants to open the first youth shelter in the West Island — The Ricochet shelter.
“Homelessness does exist on the West Island and we need some housing resources for them,” explained AJOI executive director Tania Charron.
The event was organized by West Island Blog founder Rhonda Massad.
“There is a need, there are more than 200 kids out there, sometimes they will be found in a hotel room — they need an emergency shelter here,” said Massad.
Currently, youth workers refer their clients to shelters downtown or off the island. Many don’t take up the offer of additional help because they don’t want to leave the familiar surroundings of the West Island.
“We lose them when we bring them downtown, they are scared and don’t want to go. These kids need solutions in their community,” said Charron.
The event raised $10,000 for the Ricochet shelter project.