STOP closing our Youth Spaces! Keep the R.A.Y. Project Space Open, Youth depend on it!

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Dear Community,

The Save Rathburn Area Youth Space Alliance is calling on you to help us;

SAVE THE RATHBURN AREA YOUTH SPACE NOW. OUR YOUTH NEED IT MORE THAN EVER! 

The community has learned that the TDSB will be terminating the lease of the Rathburn Area Youth (R.A.Y.) Space at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute and we are horrified. The RAY project, which was recently designated a City of Toronto Youth Space, has provided vital support to youth and our families from the surrounding communities of East Mall, West Mall, Capri,
Willowridge and Mabelle for over a decade. This community centre is the only space available to residents in the neighbouring communities, and the school is a neutral location that allowed all of us to feel comfortable accessing services.

WE NEED THE RAY YOUTH SPACE PROGRAM IN OUR COMMUNITY!

The RAY project isn’t just a community centre that youth casually attend. It serves as a second home for many youth in the community, a home that provides stability, consistency, structure, leadership and opportunities. For a lot of youth attending RAY, these were essential components that were missing in our homes that without RAY, we would not have been exposed to. RAY equips youth with the tools needed to succeed in life, by teaching leadership, accountability and responsibility. Whether it is support with academics, access to nutritious meals, employment support, life
skills and leadership programs, community projects, or opportunities to learn through travel across Canada and the world, this program has helped so many of us on our journey. The presence of the RAY Youth Space in the community has been a safe haven for all, it has helped many of us to find our sense of purpose, it kept a lot of us out of trouble, and some of us out of danger. The RAY Youth Space needs to remain open in the community. As community members who benefited, and continue to benefit from the RAY Youth Space, we feel compelled to speak up on behalf of the youth and community. Not only is this action taken by the TDSB disrespectful to the community and short-sighted, it is extremely irresponsible
given the climate of increased gun violence involving youth across the city. It is a very unsettling feeling for the youth to know their safety is being compromised. The TDSB must reconsider its decision to take away our dedicated Youth Space.

TAKE ACTION NOW! - Join us in fighting to keep our dedicated Rathburn Area Youth Space at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate open, to make sure it is stable, strong and available to youth and families right here in the community for now and years to come.

Sign on to this letter, contact your local representatives and the TDSB, and let them know that taking away one of the few supports we have in this community will hurt youth and families.

Sincerely,

The Save Rathburn Area Youth Space Alliance
SaveRAYnow@gmail.com


Cc: Iman Zion Mohamed, Vanessa Cummings, Maureen McSween, Bernard Laryea, Ebenezer Fordjour