Horizons for Youth is presently raising funds to support our annual trip to Algonquin Park and our Healthy Bodies & Healthy Minds program. 


algonquin park

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Horizons for Youth is raising funds for our annual trip to Algonquin Park. We are now fundraising for our 2018 trip. This trip helps satisfy our youth’s need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. Horizons for Youth needs to raise $10,000 for the trip. The Algonquin Trip is not covered by our operating budget. Money raised would directly cover the cost of the canoe and equipment rentals, the park entry fee, and the cost of the park guides. In other words, all funds will go directly to the youth.

Camping allows youth to experience a serenity that they never find in the bustle of their daily lives, and a privacy that eludes them in the shelter system, where they share rooms with 3 other residents. Rarely is there silence and tranquillity in the shelter system, and there is never peace like one finds sitting around a campfire or canoeing across a lake. 

Youth on this trip will engage in portaging - a team-oriented activity. For at-risk and homeless youth, who are often mistrusting, the need to work together for success can be enlightening.

The trip requires two Algonquin Park guides to accompany the group, which presents our youth with the opportunity to develop a positive relationship with a caring and knowledgeable adult. The residents of our shelter often have toxic relationships with adults due to family breakdown, trouble at school and other factors. The Algonquin trip shows these youth that adults can and will help without judgement.

To donate online to this program, please click the link below and specify "Algonquin Trip" in your donation. If you choose to send a cheque to Horizons for Youth, please put "Algonquin Trip" on the Memo line.


healthy bodies, healthy minds

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We encourage our youth to participate in regular physical activity and practice a healthy lifestyle. An active lifestyle improves mental health, enhances quality of life, and prevents disease. Our agency offers an extensive physical education program to our residents, including yoga and boot camp classes.  Our residents have also expressed interest in participating in a physical education program where they receive instruction and learn different sports throughout the year. These health activities have significant benefits for our youth. Horizons for Youth is currently seeking funding for the boot camp classes and the physical education program.

Boot camp classes help youth relieve stress, engage in a great cardio work-out, and encourage our residents to participate in an active lifestyle. These interactive classes also foster friendships among our youth and promote team-building. In a recent survey we conducted with our youth, one youth wrote, “I really like and enjoy the workout activities that our team was doing, which keeps me feeling mentally and physically active. Furthermore, the coach teaches us so much, including the basics, which helps my body feel good and healthy.” Another youth wrote, “I love the teamwork involved in the exercises...The coach is very awesome and friendly.” Boot camp classes occur at a gym near our shelter every week. Due to a lack of funding, these classes have been suspended for the time being.

A physical education program will build teamwork among our participating youth, staff members, and volunteers. Sports are proven to enhance self-esteem, encourage physical fitness, improve leadership skills, and reduce stress and depression. This program will also encourage the development of life skills, such as time management and how to engage in healthy competition with peers. The youth have expressed a strong interest in learning new sports and developing these skills. Our physical education program will take place on a weekly basis and a new sport will be introduced each month. This program will be led by our Day Program Coordinator and/or volunteers with knowledge of particular sports. Specifically, we will reach out to various sports agencies and university and college teams in Toronto to ask them to donate their time to this program. This program will also contain a field trip component. Field trips provide important learning experiences for our youth. Many of our youth have always lived in poverty and have not had the chance to attend many of the great attractions in Toronto. The physical education program will include one field trip each month to various physical activity attractions in Toronto, such as rock climbing gyms, fitness classes, bike rentals, pools, and obstacle course gyms. 

To donate online to these programs, please click the link below and specify "Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds" in your donation. If you choose to send a cheque to Horizons for Youth, please put "Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds" on the Memo line.