YMCA Youth Shelter & Drop-In Centre
3,000 youth experience homelessness in Toronto every night.
The Wagner Green YMCA is an emergency shelter and drop-in centre where unhoused youth find a hot meal and safe place to sleep — as well as wrap-around supports that help them return to school, find work, and, ultimately, live independently in safe housing of their own.
The Need Has Never Been More Urgent
Youth ages 13–24 make up 20% of the homeless population in Canada
3,000 youth experience homelessness in Toronto every night
Street-involved youth are 6X more likely to be violently victimized than the general population
65% of unhoused youth come from families struggling with substance use and have experienced some form of trauma and abuse
Safety, Shelter, and Wrap-Around Supports
At our shelter and drop-in centre, youth experiencing homelessness are met with compassion and immediate crisis support: they receive food, medical care, hygiene products, and a safe place to sleep.
With support from their case managers, youth also access comprehensive programming including:
- Mental health and substance use counselling.
- Support working through legal issues and securing official identification.
- Preparation for going back to school or finding work.
- Help looking for and moving into safe housing of their own.
Impact By The Numbers
147 youth stayed in our emergency shelter
4,697 visits were made to our drop-in centre
200 youth received substance use supports
Who We Help
“I was just 18 years old when I moved to Canada. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have anywhere to live, and didn’t have any money.
"My life turned around when I heard about the YMCA. There are no words to describe the relief of knowing you’ll have a roof over your head and food in your stomach when those things have felt so precarious. After weeks of uncertainty, all the help I needed to start over was available to me under one roof.
“Today, I’m proud to call myself the owner of a successful moving company at just 21 years old. Because of the YMCA and its generous donors, I was able to dream bigger and better than my temporary circumstances. I’m living proof that the Y’s wraparound services work!”
“I was 16 when I left my uncle’s house. His substance use and violence had escalated so much over the years. One night it got so bad, I knew I had to leave — even though I had nowhere else to go.
“When I finally found The Wagner Green YMCA and got to take a hot shower, eat a full nourishing meal, and sleep in a real bed — the relief was honestly indescribable. Having this safe place to stay truly lifted such a weight from my shoulders. But having a case worker, who helped me figure out everything that seemed so unimaginable when I was homeless…It made me feel more trusting, like I finally had someone in my corner.
“For teenagers like me, The Wagner Green Y can change your life. These support systems are a god send.”
“I think getting that help from the Y really changed my life. I wasn’t devoting all my time and attention to worrying anymore, or thinking about where I was going to sleep that night… I could actually concentrate at work and I could work on my goals, like getting promoted and getting a raise.
“And the Y helped me with that stuff too. With my case manager, we worked together on my resume and how to negotiate my salary. I started counselling so I could process my relationship with my family. And in the financial literacy program, I learned to budget, pay bills, and take responsibility for my own finances.
"All of it has been absolutely life-changing.”
How You Can Help
You can give youth experiencing homelessness a safe place to sleep tonight.
Your donation can provide:
- Hot meals,
- Safe shelter, and
- Life-changing supports for youth experiencing homelessness.