Joanne’s House in Ajax receives $15,000 donation for unsheltered youth


Published December 8, 2021 at 3:38 pm

Durham Region’s only emergency shelter for homeless youth, Joanne’s House in Ajax, has received an early Christmas gift this year in the form of a $15,000 donation from Building Blocks of Hope.

Durham Youth Service has operated Joanne’s House since 2018. It was initially launched with 10 beds, but has since expanded to 13. The shelter’s mission is to provide programs for at-risk and homeless youth in Durham Region to “prevent homelessness, provide shelter and other opportunities that will support their success and end the stigma of homelessness.”

Joanne’s House runs numerous services from the youth including shelter, meals, clothes, a stocked food cupboard, showers and washroom facilities, phone and internet access and advocacy for social services.

The shelter also connects youth to other regional services to help them learn a variety of skills or find treatment. They have also been re-shaping their priorities to advocate for more proactive solutions to prevent homelessness before it begins.

Building Blocks of Hope is the charitable arm of BLT Construction Services, a York Region-based development firm. During the COVID-19 pandemic they have designed and built numerous mobile field clinics and pandemic response units.

BLT has partnered with charities with focus on shelter and housing across the province from Barrie to Ottawa. Their Durham Region Partner is Cornerstone, which has served Durham for more than 50 years.

More than 30 sponsors contributed $500,000 in donations to organizations like Joanne’s House in each of the communities BLT has built their field hospitals.

Joanne’s House accepts donations through CanadaHelps.

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