When you think about Boyle Street Community Services, familiar images of the drop-in centre sitting in the shadow of Rogers Place likely come to mind.
That building houses a number of services for people in need of housing, and supports for addiction and mental health.
Two years ago, after volunteering at that site, a team of realtors noticed the building was in dire need of updates. They committed to a long-term fundraising partnership through the Face of Resilience campaign.
“One of the things we learned very quickly is that Boyle Street is more than just a community centre downtown that everyone sees and knows about,” said Mary Bark with the Face of Resilience committee.
“Boyle Street has 40 plus services throughout the community that support not only adults experiencing homelessness, but also families, children and youth,” said Bark.
This year, the Face of Resilience Gala hopes to raise $150,000 to support the housing and mental health programs for youth.
Four group-living facilities throughout the city house 33 youth between the ages of two and 24.
“Our goal is to help children who come in find stability and find permanency as soon as they possibly can,” said Elizabeth Turnbull with the Boyle Street Group Living Program.
“They need to have supports and resources while they’re with us,” said Turnbull.
“We take care of every aspect of that… their academic programming, anything that has to do with medical or therapeutic needs.”
Extra cash on hand means more personalizing that care and the ability to make specific upgrades to each outdoor recreational space.
“Now there’s a possibility of looking at each one of our locations, looking at the youth that we have there and saying: ‘So, what are you interested in doing?'” said Turnbull.
“Do you want to go outside and play basketball? What do you want?” said Turnbull.
Bark says they are counting on Edmontonians to reach their goal.
“By supporting the Face of Resilience Gala you are coming out and saying: ‘I stand with those in the community that are experiencing homelessness and I want to make a difference,'” said Bark.
Tickets are still available for the event coming up on Oct. 4.