Covenant House Executive Director Appointed to Expert Panel
TORONTO, ON, March 31, 2015 –
Bruce Rivers, Covenant House Toronto executive director,
is among the select members of an expert panel appointed by the Ontario
government as it takes steps to address homelessness.
Rivers is part of the 13-member panel with a wide range
of knowledge and expertise within the sector that will provide practical advice
on how to best approach the government’s long-term goal of ending homelessness.
He is the only member from a homeless youth-serving agency.
“It is a privilege to be among these leaders and to have
the opportunity to bring the issues of homeless youth to the table,” Rivers
says. “Their needs are unique to their age and stage of life and meeting them
requires a different approach than their adult counterparts. We know that
providing a range of supports, including educational and vocational
opportunities, life skills training and transitional housing, can help move
young people to independence and reduce their risk of long-term homelessness.”
The panel’s work has started with ways to define and
measure the problem of homelessness. Currently, there is no consistent
definition of homelessness or methods for tracking the number of people
experiencing homelessness in Ontario.
The province will develop an action plan to end
homelessness based on the panel's recommendations.
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Facts & Stats
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There are 10,000 homeless youth in Toronto each year
Homeless youth are forty times more likely to die than other youth
70% of homeless youth are fleeing homes with abuse and neglect