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EGADZ-When home is not an option

When Home is not an Option Fundraising Campaign and Video Launch


Many youth face dysfunctional home settings which can lead to homelessness, running away, addictions, and feelings of despair.  It is critical for these young people to have a place where they can feel safe and supported during their immediate crisis. 

Over the last 19 years Saskatoon has had 125 names added to the list of people who have died from murder, suicide, overdose, and disease due to their involvement in the sex trade. This does not include those who have died who were homeless, runaways, or experiencing a mental health crisis. 

 “We need a home that allows us the opportunity to get healthy and focus on our own safety, with those who have unconditional acceptance, prior to moving into a long term placement.” -quote from one of these Youth

From runaways to sexually exploited youth, to those who are homeless, often the result is a life of poverty that is cut too short.  In listening to our youth, a consistent message resonates through all of their voices: 

Our young people are asking for and deserve a place were they can go to reflect and receive the help they need.

— The home is available to youth 12-18 years old, but exceptions could be made for someone who may function at a younger age.

— One bed would be kept for emergencies for fast turn around

— Referrals can be self, police, mental health, Family Members, Ministry of Social Services or health care staff

— Once the crisis for the youth is diverted, further planning can begin with the youth.

— Youth that are not able to return to their placements due to addiction, mental health can access the home, stabilize and be able to return to their home without breaking down the placement.

— Youth with no other options (burned out emergency placements, or none available) are able to access the home and work with supports to secure long term housing.

The transitional home would be a place for young people at a time of crisis. We need to continue to focus on helping our youth when they are young, the most critical time for an intervention.

We hope you will share the clip and encourage people to view the complete video and consider donating to our new capital campaign. Our goal is to raise $15,000 of the $700,000 needed to purchase and renovate two transitional homes. The video and song will be a great start to making the dream a reality. 

**If you require a tax receipt for your donation please contact EGADZ directly so we can process your request**

A message from songwriter Mike Scott: 

This is more than just a song to me. This music video not only tells my story, it speaks to so many other people who have lost someone to that dysfunctional lifestyle. The “street life,” as some may call it, is filled with poverty, addictions and various other things that set a person up for failure.

I grew up around that type of influence my entire life; my role models consisted of drug dealers, thieves, prostitutes and addicts. That type of negative influence was normalized throughout my younger years. I grew up in and out of the foster care system and the times that I was present with my family were short lived.

So many young people still face the same problems I faced more than 20 years ago. If anything, I think things have gotten a lot worse for today’s youth. They have no safe place to go when things are going wrong in their lives, so many of them will resort to the street life. They are yearning for that love, attention and respect. They find a lot of that belonging in the gangs, they find a place that gives them a sense of security, but at the same time that life also leads them towards a destructive end.

The lyrics throughout this music video explain the reality Indigenous youth face on a day to day basis. The opening scene of the video shows a young Indigenous woman who is witnessing her mother being abused. She leaves the house and begins her journey for the day. She is followed throughout the scenes while being protected by her traditional spirit.

There is a powerful scene where the girl is shown lying on a couch, the victim of an overdose. This part of the song really hits home to me because I have lost so many sisters and family members to drug overdoses.

Another scene depicts a young Indigenous man standing in the cold and also being arrested by police. We often forget about our young men, and we expect them to constantly be tough. We need to acknowledge that they too feel pain and can also fall victim to the sex trade.

There is an old saying, “It takes a community to raise a child.” I believe in the work that EGADZ has been doing for decades. They have helped so many youth prosper and grow in many positive ways. It is our hope that with this music video we can help shed some light on the issues we face as a community.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to watch the video and those who have helped share this positive message. We are fundraising to open two new homes in Saskatoon that will assist young people who have no safe place to go when they are in need of help.