Creating A Safe Space
Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) is creating a new permanent facility located in close proximity to Jack James and Forest Lawn High Schools, both with significant Indigenous students populations, in the Forest Lawn area of Calgary. The building, measuring nearly 5,000 square feet, will be a safe and accessible space for urban Indigenous youth in the city, and will be designed to be sustainable. After more than 15 years of development, USAY has secured the majority of funding for the project, but is still seeking additional support to make their dream a reality.
Why this space is so important
USAY supports thousands of Indigenous youth each year. Since being established in 1999, we have struggled with inadequate rental spaces throughout, which have been inaccessible, unsafe, and inefficient, affecting Indigenous youth participation in programming. The rising cost of commercial rentals and frequent moves (four locations in 20 years) have disrupted youth involvement and forced USAY to use community spaces that are not culturally relevant and at time inaccessible, putting a strain on the organization’s budget.
A new space would greatly improve USAY’s ability to support Indigenous youth and strengthen their connection to culture and wellness.
How We Help
USAY offers programs that are Indigenous youth-led. Our Programs do not focus on barriers, but rather on the vibrancy and strengths of those young people in our community.
- Addressing mental health through cultural connections, navigation supports, and non-judgmental and committed staff.
- Providing holistic and wrap-around supports to ensure their overall success.
- Addressing inter generational trauma and historical injustices through legacy education and reclaiming culture.
- Leading from an Indigenous worldview with Indigenous staff, Elders and knowledge holders.
- Listening to what the community says they need and trusting them to lead their way toward healing and wellness.
- Provide safe and caring Indigenous space.
An influential not-for- profit organization in Calgary since 2001.
The Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth has been an influential not-for profit organization in Calgary since 2001. USAY strives to provide essential programming and services to Calgary’s Indigenous youth between the ages of twelve and twenty-nine.
How You Can Help
With the recent allocation of $3,920,000 from the Government of Canada, USAY has the opportunity to build a new accessible location in Forest Lawn where many Indigenous youth live. Funding has been confirmed for nearly 90% of the project, with $500,000 left to raise to ensure the building is fully realized.
Your support can ensure the space is move-in ready, with the features and furnishings needed for programs to begin. A detailed breakdown of need can be provided on request (furniture, fencing, paved parking, HVAC).
Learn more about how you can get involved with the development of USAY’s Youth Centre. We are always looking for corporate sponsorship to help assist with the USAY Youth Centre. Your involvement will help to create a permanent and accessible safe space for Indigenous Youth. Give back to the community today.
To learn more or to donate, please contact LeeAnne Ireland, Executive Director at 403-690-4004 or email@example.com