Kids become homeless through no fault of their own, largely because their family breaks down which often include forms of sexual, physical, spiritual & emotional abuse.
To get a sense of “our kids” realities
read: KIDS’ STORIES below
“Our kids” come from all walks of life and backgrounds. There were over 53,459 reports of children in the streets. An alarming 24 percent increase over the previous decade:
A *1999 survey found that:
- 60% stay in Toronto’s youth shelters
- 25% stay in apartments (92% with friends by ‘couch surfing’ then many end up on the street)
- 15% stay on the street, including
- 4% living in squats,
- 9% in parks, alleys, and doorways.
On any given night, 11,000 Canadians youths are homeless
To survive, they become street wise. This mental change makes it very difficult to integrate back into normal society.
They end up with tremendous survival skills but with an average education of Grade 10, they suffer extra ordinary high unemployment rates.
They have the same hopes and dreams for the future as our kids their age have in our healthier homes.
They need the same supports we give our own children, but their parents often are in extreme difficulties and over capacitated. Therefore unable to provide these necessary supports.
St. Judes Project’s Mission
is to help homeless youth become productive members of our society, rather than a long term drain on our tax resources including by turning to crime in Toronto.
This can only be achieved by them finishing their education. This gets them a job.
To insure these kids complete their education, St. Judes Project will provide housing and support services for their emotional, spiritual and mental needs. Otherwise, they cannot function in school and/or in their job.
St Judes Project has and will operate economically with your donated funds and with a caring humane approach to our homeless youth in meeting it’s mission.
This is about my friend Jay,
and his two little sisters that he takes care of
Their father died and their mother didn’t have enough money working at two jobs to try to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. She tried harder but still couldn’t make enough money. They got evicted, lived in their mom’s car. Didn’t go to school because they had no place to live so they hung out in the park, while mom worked all day. Many times they had nothing to eat and went hungry or shoplifted what ever they could get there hands on, to eat that night. They felt lucky if they just got to eat sardines on crackers.They would go back to the same store the next day if they didn’t have food again. I remember Jay used to hide meat in his pockets, and burritos in his shirt. Even if these were frozen he ate these anyway.
One day God blessed them by answering their prayers. Their mom found some one to rent out a garage to them. They slept in mom’s car. His sisters shared the backseat and mom got the front seat. He slept in the middle of the front and back seat on the floor. But because of the bump he slept on the garage floor. After a few months, a lady that they came to know rented them a room.
His mom then was able to get a decent job that paid well. But Jay never gave up.
As long as you believe in God and have faith, your prayers will be answered.
Just don’t give up.
Hello, my name is Jeremy McDowel
I am an abuse survivor and would like to tell you my story:
I was born January 17th, 1972 and
lived with my mother and father. Shortly after my
2nd birthday, my younger brother was born. 6 months later, I was living with my grandparents, my parents had
Christmas of 1978, my father returned to see me. He was with a new wife Franny and step-daughter Jennifer. My father returned to bring me home with him. At the age of 6 years seeing my father again and him wanting me of course…I’m going to go. What kid wouldn’t?
Just after Christmas we left Sarnia, heading for Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a very long trip by car. Especially with 2 young kids that did not know each other. Needless to say, Jennifer and I started to fight and get on my father and Franny’s nerves.
Now let’s be clear, Franny didn’t like me right from the start. She wanted my father to focus his attentions on her and her daughter. She considered that I was taking my father’s attention away from them. They viewed my moving in as not a good thing for them.
Well it didn’t take long before things went to hell in a hand basket. They found their self alone with me when my father, an aircraft mechanic and aircraft crash investigator, went into the bush up to 3 weeks depending on the crash seriousness and how long it took my father to find the cause.
While my father was away, Franny took full advantage and dished out discipline (as she called it). Being spanked for doing something wrong I could handle. But Franny started punishing me for Jennifer’s wrong doing and this cause me to act up even more. Jennifer was a snitch on me to her mom. When she did wrong I did the same thing. But her mother punished me for being a tattletale but not Jennifer. This confused me greatly. What was I to do?
The first place we lived in was a nice little 3 bedroom apartment in a large building still being developed. The courtyard had a huge hole where the swimming pool was to be. In the spring it became a mud hole which us two 6 year olds played in and this made Franny often angry because of the amount of laundry that we caused her.
I began to act out against her anger. As punishment she hit me, put me in my room with no toys or anything else
sit on my bed for
most days of my childhood.
It didn’t help things very much when I refused to let Franny bathe me. I felt really weird when she did and didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t until I started school and was being taught about being touched and the weird feelings that come with this that I finally understood that my stepmother was sexually molesting me. I was really confused at this point. All I could do was ask myself “Why she was doing this?” “Why do this to me?”
I didn’t want to bathe anymore.
My personal hygiene took a fall.
My sleep patterns got really messed up as well. I could not get out over the feelings that came with my stepmother fondling me in the bath and then in my bed.
My father continued his heavy drinking and would take off to the bar periodically and leave me home to deal with Franny and Jennifer. I was scared as hell and refused to go to bed on the nights my father went out. Franny scared me by her threats and physical abuse that I was already taking everyday. I tried doing everything I was told to but Nothing Changed! The beatings continued, the lies continued, and my head getting messed up continued.
To avoid their abuse, I decided to just stay in my room and play with my toys. This worked for a couple days. Then Jennifer started coming in my room wanting my toys. This was unacceptable to me. There was now way I was giving up my toys to this girl. She would run to her mother and tell her I wasn’t playing nice. Oh my, did I get spanked for that one. Franny got me a good one.
What I haven’t told you about yet was my bedroom situation.
Almost everyday I was locked in my room not able to get to the bathroom, with nothing to eat or drink.
When I was put in my bedroom for punishment, Franny would remove all my play things beyond the time I was being punished for.
I had nothing in my bedroom but my bed and my dresser full of clothing. No toys, no stuffed animals, nothing.
I just stayed in there crying.
Franny put a latch on the outside of the door and locked me in during
ment. I later found out that she had left me unattended in the apartment for hours on end.
One day this all changed though. I was in my room crying one afternoon and I heard my bedroom door being unlocked. I thought Franny had come to hit me some more. It was my dad. I ran to and hugged him because he was letting me out.
I decided to escape to my grandmothers and left. 6 years old and I’m going to find my way back to Sarnia, Ontario.
It didn’t take long before the police had me. I sat in the police department for a few hours waiting for them to get a hold of my father. Boy he wasn’t impressed with me. He spanked me with his belt when we got home that night.
That was the first time I asked to go home. My father said I was home. I said, “No. I want to go home to my grandmother’s. I didn’t want to be there anymore.” My father asked my why. I told him about what was happening when he wasn’t home. He went and asked Franny and Jennifer about what I said and they said I was lying. I had my mouth washed out with soap for lying.
I remember we lived in a nice little 2 story off-yellow house with dark brown shutters. Had a 2 bedroom apartment on the main floor with a basement and a 2 bedroom apartment on the top floor. I remember because the guy that rented the apartment upstairs had a bunch of puppets. When I couldn’t get away from Jennifer in our house I use to run up there. He would always entertain me with his puppets.
By now there was a lot of hatred going on in the house. Franny and Jennifer hated me and I them. My bedroom in the basement was my temporary refuge from them. Within months things got so bad that I ran away for the second time. Again, the police had me in the station house. This time I told the police why I didn’t want to go back. They spoke to my father on the phone because of what I had said about Franny and Jennifer. When my father finally showed up at the police station he was alone. We went for a long drive just the 2 of us and I told him again why I wanted to return to my Grandmother’s and everything the Franny and Jennifer were doing.
A week later I was put on a plane from Saskatoon to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, finally I returned to the only real home I knew, grandma’s. Unknown to me I was returning to a place where other forms of abuse were continuing that set me on my path of living on the streets.
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