To our staff, volunteers, donors, and community of supporters:
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team, we would like to extend our deep thanks for all you have done to support the young people we served over the last year.
A message of gratitude to our front-line team
In looking back on the year, we reflect on the continuing impacts of COVID-19, the opioid crisis, the worsening affordable housing situation in the city, and the ongoing impacts of systemic and structural anti-Black racism. In the work we do, these crises continually intersect and take their toll on the mental and physical health of our staff.
One of the most difficult times at Eva’s this past year occurred in September 2022. We were no longer able to continue to offer our Family Reconnect program. This program served as a key piece in our trauma-informed, culturally responsive clinical approach.
It was a difficult year, but despite challenges, Eva’s staff continued to centre the needs of young people. With this in mind, we would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of all Eva’s staff—especially those on the front lines, who are supporting young people, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Thank you.
Moving forward on our equity journey
We made great strides in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in 2021–22. We shared the findings from our equity audit with staff, launched an equity committee, began work on an organizational equity framework, and held sharing circles and healing spaces for staff.
Eva’s has gone through many changes during our long history, as we adjust to our environment and the needs of young people. We are on a path to centre the needs of Black youth experiencing homelessness.
Building our Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors
We welcomed several new members to our Senior Leadership Team over the past year. In addition to strong competencies in their fields, our new leaders bring demonstrated experience in equity, diversity, and inclusion and a focus on supporting the needs of Black youth.
We also continued our Board recruitment efforts in 2021–22, with the retirement of seven members and the addition of four new members.
Completing our Board governance review
We are moving forward on aligning and adjusting our governance practices to support Eva’s legacy and equity work.
An important first step in this work is centering Eva Smith in everything we do. We proudly acknowledge that Eva’s is a Black legacy organization inspired by Eva Smith’s history of activism.
Our work in support of our EDI goals and governance review process will both help set the stage for Eva’s strategic planning exercise, which will start in the spring of 2023. We will centre Eva Smith’s legacy and our core organizational principles in the work as we strive to help young people build brighter futures.
A vision for the future
We are committed to change at Eva’s, and this last year has shown us all that we can achieve when we stay committed to our purpose.
Thank you for your support of this important work.
Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth
Chair, Eva’s Board of Directors