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Image of Richard and Lorelai Jenkins cutting the ribbon to open YSM's new health centre for vulnerable youth.

Our new Evergreen Health Centre has opened!

Almost a decade ago, Ryanne* visited YSM’s Evergreen Centre for Street-Involved Youth when she needed a meal. “I didn’t know they had a healthcare centre until I needed it,” she recalls. “It almost seemed too good to be true. I’d get the help I needed from people who wanted to provide it, with no strings, no wait, no cost. Not only was the healthcare centre accessible, but the staff were understanding. They welcomed everyone in.”

Expanded healthcare for vulnerable youth

In February 2024, YSM unveiled a beautiful state-of-the-art expanded health centrefully funded through private donations to provide free healthcare for vulnerable youth.

Housed in YSM’s Evergreen Centre on Spadina Avenue, the new Richard and Lorelei Jenkins & Family Health and Dental Centre increased the size of our health centre from 700 to 4,760 square feet. The space provides physicals, eye exams, chiropractic care, naturopathic medicine, psychiatry, physiotherapy, dental surgery and more. It also includes a very special expanded nursery where Evergreen clients can drop off their young children while they access services.

“YSM’s Evergreen Health and Dental Centre embodies our commitment to break down barriers and create every opportunity for street-involved youth to change the trajectory of their lives. We aim to provide not just dental and health services but a transformative space that nurtures their overall wellbeing and truly makes a difference in their journey toward stability and empowerment,” says YSM President & CEO Angie Peters. 

Made possible through dedicated medical volunteers

The high quality of the centre’s free services are made possible by the dedication of many healthcare professionals who volunteer their time. Last year, 40 healthcare volunteers served the medical needs of 450 youth. 

“I hope this new healthcare centre can provide a solid foundation for the staff to continue their work in providing irreplaceable services to the youth of this community,” Ryanne says. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for every youth who has walked through your doors.”

Are you between 16 and 24 years old and in need of medical help? You can find the current schedule here.

Thank you to many who generously gave and took part in the collective effort to address the urgent healthcare needs of vulnerable youth in Toronto! This story originally appeared in our summer 2024 Urban Lights newsletter. 

*Name of community member changed to protect their privacy.