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Britton Diamonds to donate percentage of December sales to prevent vulnerable youth from becoming homeless
Diamonds may be forever, but having a roof overhead can make an everlasting difference in the life of a vulnerable youth at risk of becoming homeless.
Britton Diamonds in Vancouver has committed one per cent of its store sales during the month of December to Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Homelessness Initiative (YHI). The diamond store’s owner will also personally match the amount raised during this month.
Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Homelessness Initiative focuses on a group that is at high risk of becoming homeless – young people who are aging out of government care, such as foster care and group homes. In BC, when a youth in foster care turns 19, they are abruptly cut-off from all financial, educational and “family like” supports funded by government, and left to navigate adulthood on their own. (It’s estimated that almost 40 per cent of homeless youth have at one time been in government care.)
The YHI program is working to prevent youth homelessness by strengthening community services to support vulnerable youth; engaging young people to identify transition strategies; increasing public policy research and learning; and raising public awareness about the need to invest in solutions that create opportunities for youth to successfully navigate the challenging journey from government care to independent living.
“I first heard about the problem of youth homelessness at a Foundation event a few weeks ago,” said Renee Chen, owner of Britton Diamonds, located on the third floor of 736 Granville Street. “I had no idea that young people in government care were essentially cut off from their support system once they turned 19 and were at risk of becoming homeless. I felt it was a worthwhile cause to support and help the vulnerable young people obtain the assistance that is required for them to move forward, thus preventing youth homelessness.”
“As the cold winter months approach, and emergency shelters fill up, life on the street becomes even more difficult for the homeless, particularly young people,” said Kevin McCort, President and CEO of Vancouver Foundation.
“Our Youth Homeless Initiative is focused on preventing homelessness among youth formerly in government care by creating the right conditions for them to succeed as adults. We are hopeful that this generous donation will inspire others to come forward and support this program. And the timing couldn’t be better – tomorrow is Giving Tuesday in the US and Canada. It’s a day to celebrate philanthropy in all its varied forms.”
For more information on this donation, and the many ways you can support vulnerable youth, visit our website at vancouverfoundation.ca/initiatives/youth-homelessness and the Britton Diamonds website at brittondiamonds.com
About Vancouver Foundation
With almost 1,500 funds and assets totaling $814 million, Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation. In 2012, Vancouver Foundation and its donors made more than 4,000 grants, totaling approximately $46 million to registered charities across Canada. Grant recipients range from social services to medical research groups, to organizations devoted to arts and culture, the environment, education, children and families, disability supports for employment, youth issues and animal welfare.