2022 Women of Options Gamechangers - Fifth Avenue REM mediaiqdigital tracking pixel
Bringing People Home, Peerage Partners, Social Purpose | April 21, 2022

Enriching the community. One youth at a time.

The Gamechangers Fund Raising $1.5M For a Discretionary Fund To Help Local Youth

Last year we embarked on our first-ever capital campaign for an affordable housing build. Thanks to our first Women of Options, and partnerships like yours, the campaign was a success and the 100-unit complex at 81st Avenue and King George Boulevard is in development! This year some of these remarkable women are back, along with new faces in the group. They have a passion to join Options in making life-altering differences in the lives of youth in our community. We call them and their supporters, Gamechangers!

We are raising $1.5 million to develop a long-term discretionary fund to assist youth who need the kind of support that cannot otherwise be provided in a timely manner, if at all, by other agencies or the government. This includes financial support as well as enhanced support services and mentorship when requested. Each “Woman of Options” has committed to help raise $25,000 towards this fund. Your support and encouragement will help them reach their goal.


Just One of Many

It was a cold Friday afternoon in November when Nichole received a call from a public health nurse. A new mom, Sharon, was in need of support. Could Options help?

“Of course!” came the answer.

Nichole reached out to Sharon, arranged for her to receive a Christmas hamper, and set up an appointment for the following Monday morning. During their appointment, Sharon told Nichole that she had been looking for a basement suite or an apartment, but had been turned down everywhere she looked. Finally, desperate to find shelter for her baby and herself, Sharon spent her last $1,800 to rent a motel unit in a sketchy part of town.

The $1,800 bought her 30 days of shelter for her and her baby. After that, she would be homeless. Nichole knew that the motel was an unsafe environment for a young mother and her baby. Sharon also confided that she had been subject to intimate partner violence. As a result, Nichole started the referral process to have Sharon and her baby admitted to the safety of one of the Options’ transition houses. Options staff was able to support Sharon with $1,800 through the use of its discretionary funds to give her a much needed hand up.


Today, Sharon and her baby have their own place in subsidized housing offered by Options. She is currently a full time student studying for a career in early childhood education.

For many young people like Sharon, Options becomes a lifeline, helping to remove what seems to be an insurmountable barrier, giving them a way out of crisis, and providing hope for their immediate future.


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