We want to bring our community of Allies together to donate 100 backpacks filled with urgently needed basic items for at-risk and sexually exploited youth in Calgary and the surrounding area. Supporting high risk youth is a key area of focus for #NotInMyCity, with 25% of reported human trafficking victims in Canada are under the age of 18.
#NotInMyCity has gathered government systems and community organizations together – including the Calgary Police Service, Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Hull Services, McMan and Trellis (Avenue 15 youth shelter) – to provide a single, wraparound response model for at-risk and sexually exploited youth aged 12-24. These youth make up a portion of the 300 youth experiencing homelessness on any given night in Calgary who are highly vulnerable to violence, sexual exploitation, illicit drugs, criminal behaviour, and compromised mental health.
To mitigate these effects, the provision of basic needs is a simple gesture that can help frontline workers engage and build relationships with at-risk and exploited youth. By giving an at-risk or exploited youth an easily-accessible resource, they receive immediate emergency items to help keep them as physically, emotionally and mentally as safe as possible while attempts are made to connect them with longer-term wraparound supports.
Ultimately, we hope this small intervention will contribute to enhanced well-being and a reduction in issues like long-term homelessness, sexual exploitation, substance abuse, interaction with the justice system and social exclusion.
Please include items that are new and unused, and gender neutral where possible.
Please send #NotInMyCity an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how many backpacks you’ll be donating. Our team will mail you a yellow rose pin and a postcard with important info to include with each backpack.
Backpacks can be dropped off 24/7 at:
Avenue 15 youth shelter (938 15 ave SW)
26 New Brighton Green SE (you’ll find a drop-off bin on the porch)
Tag @NIMCally in your donation drop-off photos, and help us get the word out so we can reach our goal of 100 backpacks!