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Home Depot Canada Foundation, Blue Door merge to help homeless youth establish careers in trades

October 1, 2021

September 28, 2021, By: 

The Home Depot Canada Foundation (HDCF) has launched TradeWorx, in partnership with Blue Door, to help youth experiencing homelessness establish careers in the skilled trades.

The HDCF is a Canadian registered charity that was incepted in 2009 and is committed to preventing and ending youth homelessness in Canada.

TradeWorx — a new targeted investment in partnership with ten leading Canadian employment social enterprises — launched on Sept. 27.

One million dollars has been invested into TradeWorx, which will go toward empowering over 100 youth at risk or experiencing homelessness by providing the education and direct connections to meaningful trades employment opportunities.

According to a media release from Blue Door, one in five youth will experience homelessness before they celebrate their 16th birthday — 77.5 per cent of youth experiencing homelessness is due to the inability to get along with their parents. There are many other reasons for homelessness, the media release states.

“We are all learning a lot and this program gives us great opportunity to find a career path, helping us get our foot in the door,” said Raine, a participant of the program.

“TradeWorx builds upon our work with community partners, like Blue Door, that provide emergency housing and social supports for youth, by connecting them with the training needed to establish lasting careers and acquire stable housing,” said Pamela O’Rourke, Home Depot Canada Foundation board chair and Home Depot Canada vice-president of merchandising.

“We’ve invested heavily in research and housing initiatives over the last eight years and we know helping to break the cycle of youth homelessness requires an integrated approach, which we’re proud to start building with leading partners in this sector,” O’Rourke said.

TradeWorx will invest in supporting and empowering vulnerable youth with the tools, work experience, training, and social supports needed to overcome barriers to employment, secure a well-playing career, and get and keep permanent housing, which are all factors required to overcome homelessness.

Emmy Kelly, Blue Door’s chief operating officer, said they are thrilled to be collaborating with the HDCF.

“This cross-sector collaboration marks the beginning of a national coalition of employment social enterprises focused on homelessness prevention. Together, we are working to bridge systemic gaps and end youth homelessness across Canada,” Kelly said.

Blue Door has been serving the York Region population for over 39 years, providing supports including housing, health and employment for families, men, women, children, and youth that are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Blue Door is a charity partner of the Newmarket, Aurora, and Bradford local Home Depot store’s Orange Door Project Campaigns, where every dollar donated at checkout supports the life-saving services provided by Blue Door.