Who We Are
Together, empowering vulnerable youth to become successful adults.
Inspiring vulnerable youth to reach their full potential with the support of our community.
Equity, Inclusivity & Acceptance – we believe that all youth have the right to services and support regardless of political, religious beliefs, ethno-cultural background, (dis)ability, gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
Safety & Respect – we create an atmosphere that invites a safe, secure and non-judgemental environment.
Collaboration – we foster partnerships to achieve the best outcomes for vulnerable youth.
Advocacy – we believe in actively supporting and providing a voice for all vulnerable youth locally and nationally.
Privacy and Confidentiality – we ensure that all information shared is kept secure and protected.
Excellence – we believe in providing the highest quality programs and services to achieve our mission.
Board of Directors
Our 2020 Board of Directors is made up of:
Lucy Gowers, Executive Director (non-voting)
Jillian Fenik, Chair
Stu Lyman, Vice Chair
Jonathan Derrick, Treasurer
Ian Maclennan, Director (Communications)
Robyn Latchman, Director
Mandy Deeves, Director (Governance)
Deb Bobechko, Director
Erin McFarland, Director (Secretary)
Leslie Varsava, Director (Fundraising)
Background & Function
- Youth Haven began in 1987, when a group of concerned citizens realized there was nowhere in Barrie for a youth experiencing homelessness to go for shelter. They began taking kids into their homes, and quickly realized that the need required a better response.
- In 1990, we were incorporated and received our charitable status, and opened our first location on Dunlop Street W. The first facility housed 6 youth, with almost all the food and items coming from donations.
- We then moved to a house on Toronto Street, where we continued to grow and serve more youth, and provide more services.
- In 2007 we celebrated our past, commemorating our 20 years of service with One Enchanted Evening, our masquerade gala.
- 2010 marked another milestone when we moved to our current home on Wellington Street East, where we offer 16 emergency care beds and 5 transitional beds.
- Youth Haven provides youth experiencing homelessness and at-risk youth between the ages of 16-24 with the love, support, guidance, programs and life skills needed to foster their sense of well-being and security. As Simcoe County’s only emergency shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, Youth Haven also provides outreach services and programs to at-risk youth in Barrie, Orillia, Midland, southern Georgian Bay and south Simcoe. Over 400 youth received services from Youth Haven in the last year (2019).
Our staff consists of qualified and dedicated individuals who are committed to equipping the homeless youth in Simcoe County with the life skills required to live independently; empowering them to become healthy, productive men and women.
Youth Haven consists of a Board of Directors, an Executive Director, a Director of Fund Development, a Director of Services, a Director of Counselling, a Life Skills Coordinator & Case Managers, outreach and in shelter counsellors, and several Youth Workers who ensure a qualified staff is on site 24/7/365
Volunteers are a very important part of the day-to-day operations of Youth Haven. We receive support from placement students, and community members who dedicate their time and efforts to supporting our youth and the fight to end youth homelessness