Camp brought me out of my shell and gave me better communication skills. It has also given me the courage to believe in myself.
Jamie, Age 12Camper
Camp has helped me to understand why we have nature and why I have to take care of it.
Noah, Age 8Camper
Alexo makes me feel really great to know that I am a part of something because I get to be outdoors a lot more than when I'm at home.
Sarah, Age 11Camper
It makes me feel like I have somewhere to go every year where I can try new things and meet new people. Camp Alexo has had a very positive impact on my life, and I look forward to coming every year
Josh, Age 16Camper
I got the news that I had nowhere to go. I was unable to go back with my parents because it was deemed to be an unsafe environment for me to be living in. I also could not return to my friend’s house due to my mental health issues. This left me feeling devastated, I finally thought I found a family with the supports I needed and being told I could not return there broke my heart. I was feeling lost and helpless. When I got to the shelter I was greeted by the shelter staff upon my intake. I had no idea what to expect from the shelter but as I got settled in, I met some really good people. This was the first time in my life I began opening up to people and getting the supports I need. The shelter staff have been amazing to me and I have been able to share my struggles and they have unlimited supports to offer me which have helped me greatly. The shelter has provided me unconditional support along with a safe, happy environment. Before I felt like no one understood me and I had to deal with things alone but being around all these people in the shelter has made me realize I’m not alone.
Sue came to the shelter due to numerous legal issues surrounding her family. The shelter provided physical and emotional safety for Sue while her family worked through these issues and minimized the stress within the home. While she was at the shelter she talked openly with staff and expressed interest in working with the Outreach Program in returning home and working on her relationship with her mom. Eventually Sue did return home, and the family was able to resolve much of the conflict surrounding the initial crisis. Her mom has since reported that Sue is doing well and their relationship has strengthened and they once again enjoy being mother and daughter.
Youth HQYouth Shelter
I want to work towards what makes me happy in my future not what happens just today.
Ryan, Age 16
John became involved with drugs and alcohol which resulted in becoming homeless. He utilized the Youth Winter Inn during that time, in order to have a safe place to stay during the cold winter nights. Eventually, with assistance from the Youth Winter Inn staff, John came to the Youth Shelter in mid April. Along with his addiction issues, he identified having mental health concerns. With support from Shelter staff, he saw a psychiatrist and began properly addressing his wellbeing. John has not used drugs or alcohol since his intake to the Shelter and is working towards developing a plan for his future, to reconnect with his parents, and for sobriety support.
Youth HQYouth Shelter / Winter Inn
Sarah and Rolanda were matched more than ten years ago and continue to remain 'sisters'. While life has changed much for them, Rolanda becoming a mom and Sarah living independently, they have never let go of their bond. Through the ups and downs of teenage life and young adulthood, Rolanda has continued to be a strong support for Sarah. We're all proud of them both, and the testament they are to the success of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Thank you so much! RYPEN was a memory I will hold for the rest of my life and friends that I will remember till I’m old and can’t remember! Rappelling was amazing and I will definitely do I again. Rating of 1-10, I would pick 25!
Abi, Age 13Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment