Calgary speaker to highlight model homeless youth housing project


 TORONTO, April 18, 2013 – A housing project that helps to keep homeless youth off the streets of Calgary, Alberta can be replicated in York Region and the rest of the Greater Toronto Area, say organizers of the Youth Homelessness Learning Series. The project will be the topic of discussion during the fourth event of the series, jointly organized by York University and United Way York Region, Friday, April 19.

“The Infinity Project works to find a permanent home for youth in the community of their choice and to provide financial supports to quickly access housing,” says the keynote speaker Katie Davies, who heads the youth housing and shelter program at the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary (BGCC). “We will then offer transitional supports to help them maintain housing and move towards self-sufficiency.”

Davies’ presentation will highlight the success as well as the lessons learnt from running this youth focused “Housing First” project as part of the BGCC. She will also explain how the project is based on housing as a human right and with the right kind of support and approach it can be the first step toward change in a youth’s life.

“The goal of the series is to learn from each other’s experience and expertise on how to prevent youth homelessness and rehouse youths.  Katie Davies is one of the real innovators in Canada, and someone who I think really challenges us to think differently about how we can respond to youth homelessness in a way that provides permanent solutions based on the needs of adolescents and young adults,” says York University Professor Stephen Gaetz, director of the

Canadian Homelessness Research Network (CHRN), who is leading the Learning Series project.

Participants including leaders and representatives from various sectors across York Region, including education, child protection, healthcare, justice, law and social service organizations serving children and youth, as well as government representatives, will benefit from the series.

 WHAT:         Youth Homelessness Learning Series, session 4:
The Infinity Project — an innovative Housing First program for homeless

WHO:             Katie Davies, Boys and Girls Club, Calgary

WHERE:         Markham Convergence Centre, 7271 Warden Avenue, Markham

WHEN:           Friday, April 19, 2013, 1-3pm

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.

United Way York Region serves nine municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville. In addition to its traditional role of supporting agencies to meet urgent needs, United Way is working to tackle the root causes of social issues. To help strengthen York Region’s quality of life, United Way is uniting people and resources on three priorities: moving people from poverty to possibility, helping kids be all they can be, and building healthy people and strong communities.


Media Contacts:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094,

Adriana Suppa, Director, Communications, United Way York Region,
905 474 9974 ext. 358,