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What does it mean to journey with community members?

At YSM, the concept of goal setting is an integral part of how we journey with community members on their path towards stability. In some form, all of us have goals we aspire to fulfill. Some of them we consider small, like finishing a book or eating healthier. Whereas some of them we consider loftier, like buying a house or getting a new or better job. Whatever our goals may be, they help create meaningful signs of progress and accomplishment.

But, because of a complex web of challenges, including outdated systems, structural racism and discrimination, economic disruption and more, many face barriers – often ones beyond their control – which make it difficult to achieve and advance.

Goal setting

 From working with and learning from our community members, we know exiting poverty is not an easy single step action. Rather, it requires time, strength and continuing support, with progress made by accomplishing many smaller goals in the process.

As the journey towards thriving in life looks different for everyone, so too everyone’s goals towards meaningfully achieving stability and good quality of life also differ. For community members who face such barriers as mental health issues, successfully controlling  emotions and meeting setbacks with resilience are significant milestone goals. For street-involved youth, who face barriers to accessing health care, getting regular dental or medical check-ups are also significant goals.

I’d like to outline some of the goals YSM community members have shared with us:

“I am just still working now on my problems. I still have this problem in my life, but I am trying to solve it with my family. My goal is to enjoy my time with my family and to take care of them. I am a cook and would like to have my own restaurant. I have a lot of ideas that I want to put into practice and be proud of what I am doing for myself and others.” – Dakarai*

“One of my main goals is to help the “giftless”. I am a voice not only for myself but people who may not necessarily be able to advocate for themselves or make themselves heard. Another goal is to become an author by 2026. I would like to try to become Toronto’s top selling author in the next 3-4 years. I just want to make a positive change or impact in this world.” – Simba*

“I hope my application for permanent residency in Canada will pass. Afterwards, I might be able to relax a bit. Right now, I feel under pressure to look for a job. I am hoping afterwards I can really enjoy work and life.” – Chris*

“My future goal is to move out with my daughter and her kids and have a house outside of the city and have a nice quiet piece of life.” – Elodie*

“One day I am going to be a successful musician and I want to gain the skills to face the world. I’m still struggling with talking to people in public spaces and via streaming. I have a passion for this dream because I’ve experienced a lot of hate for no reason. It’s about getting my real feelings and thoughts out there.” – Lilli

Journey towards stability

Each of these goals – whether big or small – are important aspects of our community members’ journey towards stability. At YSM our role is to help neighbours looking to make changes achieve their goals by providing equitable access to the right supports when they’re needed, and offering a consistent support system on which they can rely.

Time and time again, in journeying with community members, we’ve seen goals achieved and lives transformed in the midst of great adversity due to resilience, hard work and determination, aided by the commitment and support of our staff, donors and volunteers.

For all the ways you journey with us and support our community members in achieving their goals, thank you. Every goal and every journey supported – through a variety of means –brings us a step closer to a city where everyone is thriving in their life. 

GIVE 6IX logo

We’re inviting the city of Toronto to GIVE 6IX to “the Six” in any way, from anywhere, to help change the lives of neighbours struggling with poverty . . .

What’s your 6IX? Learn more and get inspired at