At Eva’s, we aim to put young people at the centre of all we do. There are many ways this value comes into play in our day to day work. One of them is creating meaningful opportunities to collaborate with young people in our communities. We are always so inspired by young people who get active on social justice issues and passionate about building brighter futures for young people experiencing homelessness in Toronto.
That’s why we partnered with Swetha, Maurie, and Julie, three Ryerson School of Interior Design (RSID) Students, at Eva’s Home For Life. They worked with experienced designers to help build the stunning room vignettes showcased at the event.
Julie, Maurie and Swetha with the Ali Budd Interior Design Team
Since she was young, Swetha had been interested in visual arts. Interior design combined many things she was passionate about, including creativity and making people happy. Everyone spends a lot of time inside, and that’s why she feels interior design is so important.
“Working with the designers reminded me of how much can be accomplished when a group of people come together for a good cause,” says Swetha. “It’s wonderful to see how quickly spaces can be arranged, custom pieces can be built, and most importantly, see how willing people are to donate their time and skills.”
Swetha would like to bring her current work of designing and connecting with people to help her community across the world.
The opportunity to create beautiful spaces that make people healthy and happy attracted Maurie to RSID. Each project gives her an opportunity to grow, explore new ideas, respond to new challenges, and build design skills and knowledge.
Working in Interior Design gives Maurie the opportunity to work with many blessed and privileged individuals. While working with Home For Life designers, she acknowledged how important it is to think of the many people who do not have the same opportunities. She’s eager to use her passion to make a difference.
“Being given the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow students has opened my eyes to the support we can give each other within any project we encounter,” Maurie explains. “School and design-related projects can be stressful, but having each other is a reminder that working as a team opens up so many possibilities.”
“I’ve known homelessness is an issue in Toronto for a while, however, I haven’t always known why it happens,” says Julie. “It’s interesting to see how out-of-your-control it can be, there are certain factors that make it so living at home is no longer an option. I think it’s important to be aware of that because it can happen to anyone and the more we talk about it, the less there is stigma surrounding it; and the more we can do to make sure that at-risk youth have access to proper resources and equal opportunities.”
Julie was drawn to design because of its fluidity. For her, design can be structured and strictly about fulfilling a client’s needs, but it can also be about helping your community and designing for the people. Design can be done independently or as a team. As someone who enjoys working with others and making connections, being able to work with Eva’s Home For Life designers was a great project.
We’re so grateful for the energy, compassion, and collaborative spirit Swetha, Maurie, and Julie brought to Eva’s! Getting connected and engaged with people like them will bring us one step closer to ending youth homelessness. We can’t wait to see the amazing work they’ll go on to do in the world of design.
More Youth Connections
Do you remember Radha? She invited you to Home for Life and spoke at the event. This wonderful young woman and Eva’s alum connected with FLARE magazine at Eva’s Home For Life to chat about what self-care meant to her as someone who has experienced homelessness.
Read When You Live in a Shelter, Self-Care Means More than Just a Face Mask