OUR HISTORY

OUR JOURNEY

1988

Kate Millar began working with youth living on the street in Kitchener by delivering food and warm clothing from the trunk of her car.

1989

A friend donated office space on Hall’s Lane in Kitchener to Kate and Reaching Our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) was officially born. In August, Hall’s Lane suffered a serious fire and the ROOF office was destroyed. Drop-in moved to Victoria Park until other arrangements were made.

1990

ROOF moves into a facility at 121 Duke Street in Kitchener.

1991

ROOF moves into 43 Cedar Street North, Kitchener. Services increased to seven days a week; increased hours of operation; a food hamper program; volunteer training program.

1996

ROOF began its partnership with the Betty Thompson Youth Centre and increased our capacity to serve youth at risk. Bruce Milne is Executive Director.

1999

Through the generous support of a private donor, ROOF purchased its faculty at 242 Queen St. S, Kitchener. This facility allowed for extended hours of service, more diverse group activities, and an onsite Public Health Nurse, through our partnership with the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre.

2005

Executive Director Bruce Milne resigns and ROOF suffers it’s second devastating fire. The house at 242 Queen St. S is destroyed. Outreach services continue and drop-in takes place at the Betty Thompson Youth Centre, 41 Weber Street West, Kitchener.

2006

ROOF hired Sandy Dietrich-Bell as the new Executive Director, and ROOF announces its plan to rebuild the facility at 242 Queen St. S.

2008

ROOF returns to a brand new building at 242 Queen St. S. ROOF starts its first social enterprise program: ROOF Lunchbox. The program goal is to help youth gain practical and transferable employment skills.

2010

A 10 bed co-ed shelter Providing a Roof (PAR) was added and ROOF’s second social enterprise program was started: ROOF Street Designs.

2011

5 more emergency beds were added for a total of 15 beds, and ROOF unveiled its new logo.

2013

ROOF starts its new Family Reconnect program and ROOF Lunchbox unveils its new logo.

2014

ROOF has been in existence for 25 years supporting youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and attributes our longevity to the unwavering support of the Region and community.

2015

We opened 2 Supportive Housing Homes with funding through a private foundation.  Sadly sustainable funding was not secured and the homes had to close after 18 months of successful operation. 2 more emergency beds were added for a total of 17 beds.

Our Impact

Read about the impact oneROOF Youth Services has had on youth.

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Services

We are a multi-service agency. Check out the many services we offer.

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Donate

Your donation can help make a positive difference in the life of these youth!

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