Youth Helping Youth
While in Toronto for a youth conference, nearly 30 young people from San Antonia, Texas joined police officers and Muslim youth in ensuring homeless youth have what they need.
The Americans were in the city for the Steubenville Christian Youth Conference in Oshawa and visited Toronto on July 31 to help distribute backpacks for people in need.
Deputy Chief Mike Federico played a pivotal role in arranging for the youths to visit the Muslim Welfare Centre (MWC) in Regent Park where they assisted in stuffing back packs with basic life needs and school supplies that were distributed to homeless youths across Toronto.
“We were approached to come up with something that would give the Americans some exposure to Toronto,” said Staff Sergeant Steve Pipe of the Divisional Policing Support Unit. “Through partnerships we have, we reached out to the Muslim Welfare Centre in 42 Division that has satellites including the one in Regent Park.”
On the second Sunday of every month, 51 Division officers show up at the centre to help feed homes people.
Firwaz Azeez, the MWC special projects manager, said the visiting youths spent about three hours in the Regent Park community.
“When they arrived, we offered them refreshments and they had the opportunity to fill 200 back packs to be provided to families in the neighbourhood,” he said. “It was a great chance for them to do something good in another country and develop social skills.”
- Photos by Constable Ed Parks