St. Clair College Research Team and Windsor Youth Centre Prevent and Conquer Youth Homelessness One Hot Meal at a Time | St. Clair College
Thursday, March 21, 2024
People outside the windsor youth centre

St Clair College and Windsor Youth Centre (WYC)
showcased a heartwarming display of community and compassion to provide local youth facing housing insecurities and homelessness with a hot meal and a care package to go.

Through research funds, the Identifying and Developing Youth Homelessness Prevention Strategies through Respondent-Driven Sampling and Intersectionality research team was able host an event that provided youth with many items including, food, basic hygienic needs, but not limited to fun and crafts.

The primary focus of the event was to connect with youth and help battle the crisis of youth homelessness by giving back to the community. Working with the WYC allowed the research team to use a portion of their resources towards directly assisting the community they are researching and studying.

"The services exist, its just a matter of connecting them.- This is more of the social justice approach to research." said Lead Researcher Dr. Kyle Jackson, "You know, Partners [WYC] force you to think differently, think better, and challenge you to do thingsā€¦ thing like this."

The event brought many local youth to the WYC for a hot meal but also brought many parents looking for meals for their little ones. Youth attendees were met with a hot meal consisting of pasta, chicken parmigiana, salad, and dessert all provided and served by St. Clair College.

Highlighting the need for change and community support, the efforts of the research team and the WYC showcase the power of collaboration and community power.

Following the hardy meal, creating a care packages provided by the research team was also a form of entertainment for the visors of the event. The research team provided youth with a 'shopping experience' followed up with an art and design table where youth could personalize the bag chosen.

"Some people don't get to the opportunity to experience shopping." said Dr. Kyle Jackson, "Setting the place up like a store is something neat and interesting we can do for youth."

Over the course of many hours, the space was filled with laughter with many attendees enjoying spending time with the research team and eating alongside other youth facing similar crises.

As the evening continued, local youth thrived with excitement over the food and continued to circle back for seconds as well as to-go containers. Many thanked the attendants for the support and expressed their gratitude for St. Clair College.

"What I love about St. Clair College is the professionalism." Says Youth Research Project participant, "It's like from a restaurant, not just a store."

Through action, research, and collaboration, an inclusive and supportive environment supported by change was fostered for all members of the growing community.

"A primary goal we have at St. Clair College Research and Innovation is connecting the work that we do with our local community. Outreach events such as this help connect the value of community research initiatives and contributions. It was also great that the student researchers from the project took a leading role in planning and delivering the event. The project still has a year to go and we are all excited to see what comes next." mentioned David Potocek, St. Clair College Research and Innovation.

The event took place at the Windsor Youth Centre, located at 1247 Wyandotte St E, Windsor,
starting at 5:00 pm.

Written by Vanessa Lewis-Callan