Dog Tales instrumental in adding kennel to Scarborough youth shelter

May 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

A King-based organization has brightened the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable.
The finishing touches have been put on the new YouthLink Emergency Shelter &?Transition Home in Scarborough, complete with dog kennels. Without the help of King’s Dog Tales, and owners Rob Rob Scheinberg and Danielle Eden-Scheinberg, it would not have happened.
For the first time ever, homeless teens and their dogs have found a welcoming home.
Dog Tales received a token of appreciation from the organization and Mayor Steve Pellegrini was on hand to congratulate them. Rob said it was “exciting” to receive the recognition and they were fully behind the project.
An official ribbon cutting, with Toronto Mayor John?Tory, will take place June 21.
Evan Back, head of Fundraising, Marketing, Media, & PR for YouthLink, said the Scheinbergs committed engineering resources and funding to the project and they’ve been “phenomenal” to work with.
While the idea of a dog kennel may seem unusual, it’s actually quite practical. Many street youths have no other reliable and trustworthy companion, other than their dogs. Having a canine friend means feeling safer, and having less anxiety. Dogs can help lower anxiety issues within people, and feeling a sense of commitment and care towards another. The owner of the dog also cares for the dog to a great length, showing it love and affection and even giving their furry friend a click remedy if needed. They care unconditionally for their dog and won’t let anything break their bond. Many youths will not leave their dogs outside, of shelters that don’t allow for animals inside, means young people are often sleeping in very cold Canadian temperatures, on dirty mattresses, and sleeping bags, in susceptible and dangerous conditions in order to be with their protective furry friends.
Building a kennel at the brand new shelter just made sense.
According to YouthLink, on any given night in Canada, there are roughly 6,000 youth are homeless, and about 40,000 in the course of a year who resort to “couchsurfing,” and sleeping on the streets. Facing a multitude of problems and obstacles at such a young age, some as young as 13, means less focus on the future and more focus on survival at the moment. Without homes, it means no jobs, no school, and possibly no enjoyable future.
Frequently dealing with problems from family dysfunction, mental health issues, drugs and alcohol addictions, violence and sexual exploitation, some kids choose to live on the streets while others do not. In any case, it has become a national crisis.
While there are over 30 youth shelters in Toronto, most do not offer long term counselling, tutoring, rehabilitation or dog shelters.
YouthLink is pioneering in this space with a new shelter. The co-ed facility houses 10 emergency and 41 long-term beds, including rooms for couples. This transition home is a single-storey building, at 747 Warden Avenue, north of St. Clair Avenue East, and is geared towards people 16 years to 24 years old.
As Scarborough’s only youth homeless emergency shelter, it is unique in more ways than one. For example, it will be Toronto’s only young people’s shelter with a dog kennel, with space for at least six dogs, and with the option of the dogs sleeping in the same room as the person.
Where most shelters ask people to leave in the mornings, this shelter is focusing on a revolving door mandate. With design implementation geared towards helping the youth succeed, the integration of private rooms, quality facilities, lounge spaces, a state of the art computer room, great food, continual counselling from qualified counsellors, and hopefully with more money raised they will be able to offer feminine hygiene products, a veterinary clinic, and dog food.
With roughly 1,000 young homeless people in Scarborough, a facility like this is desperately needed.
The shelter contains a debugging room, where belongings will be sprayed, and showers and a laundry room will be offered, as well as a library, 3 kitchens and a no drug policy.
Overall, renovations were paid for by the City of Toronto, costing roughly $1.5 million.
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