Get yourself in gear with Team SOY this October. Whether you go all out to run the 42km, glam up for the best-dressed 5km of your life, or just make it to a finish line, help us raise much-needed funds to support LGBT youth. We'll cover the entry fees for the first 10 entrants who commit to a minimum, and for anyone who raises $500 or more!
Up to 40% of homeless youth in Toronto identify as lesbian, gay, bi or trans; many have experienced the rejection of their families and peers. Two-thirds of LGBT youth say they feel unsafe at school; most hear homophobic language around them, and significant numbers experience verbal, physical and sexual harassment. Though social acceptance of those who are LGBT has grown, so too have discrimination and bullying. LGBT youth are statistically at significantly higher risk of not only homelessness, but of dropping out of school, substance abuse, engaging in survival sex, and of depression and suicide.
SOY has been supporting LGBT youth in Toronto for 15 years. Around 250 LGBT youth come through SOY's doors each week looking for a place to belong, a safe space where they can be themselves without risk or explanation — and where they can thrive.
We provide some of the City's only dedicated help for queer and trans homeless and street-involved youth, including a weekly drop-in, the support of volunteer adult mentors and housing referrals. We also offer a wide range of other weekly social/support groups, and arts-based and recreational programs for all LGBT youth. The emphasis is on healthy, interactive activities and on connecting youth to the resources that they need.
But we can't do it alone. More youth come through our doors each year, seemingly facing ever greater challenges. Help us raise the critical funds we need to keep helping them.