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Tuesday, 20 September 2016 21:31

Shopping-cart push for homeless youth

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            Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Anti-Rackets Branch and City of Kawartha Lakes OPP Detachment have been helping “push for change” for homeless youth.

            Push for Change is a national awareness and youth empowerment campaign developed by Joe Roberts to focus on ending youth homelessness.

            Roberts is pushing a shopping cart across

Canada. And local and other OPP helped out too, doing their bit for Roberts in their own walk/bike/sleep-out challenge.

            Roberts is making stops along his route to speak about the struggles he faced as a homeless youth in British Columbia. It wasn’t until he was in crisis back home in Ontario that assistance came from an OPP officer who responded to the call that ultimately set him on a path of change.

            Roberts got the help he needed, and went on to graduate college on the Dean’s list and become a successful CEO. Now he is paying it forward. 

            The OPP have partnered with The Push for Change campaign, as Roberts makes his way through Ontario to raise awareness about risk factors and vulnerabilities affecting homeless youth.

            Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the City of Kawartha Lakes OPP Detachment, members of the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch and the City of Kawartha Lakes OPP supported him by walking, biking and sleeping outdoors.

            They started in Lindsay and walked 40 kilometres along Highway 35 to Kawartha Lakes Road 6, and to Highway 12, spending the night outside along the way.  The next morning, they bicycled the rest of the way to OPP General Headquarters in Orillia, arriving at about noon. 

            The money they raised will be allocated school-based strategies to reduce the number of young people who become homeless.

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