It’s been 25 years since Eva’s Place opened in North York, thanks to the advocacy of our founder, Eva Maud Smith. At the time, Eva was being told that there we no homeless youth in North York– but she knew better. Shedding light on the ‘hidden homeless’ – young people in precarious situations who are not visibly street-involved – Eva saw how especially Black young people were facing barriers in education due to housing instability.
Eva Smith’s advocacy was innovative as she challenged the traditional stereotype about who is homeless. It’s not just the adults outside the local coffee shop or on the downtown street corner. Eva also understood that it was critical to keep youth connected to their schools and communities instead of sending them downtown to existing shelters.
We’ve carried on Eva Smith’s legacy of innovation, showcasing it all in our free-to-the-public End Youth Homelessness in the 6ix Exhibit in the Urbanspace Gallery right now until April 15.
Eva’s Tiny Home
The highlight of our exhibit is a 140-square foot representative tiny house model. It is suggestive of the kind of small temporary modular housing in cities such as Vancouver, but actual sizes are about 250-320 square feet. This model was built by young people in Eva’s Construction and Building Maintenance and Graphic Communications and Print Training Programs.
ENERGY EFFICIENT PASSIVE HOUSING
Reduced building costs and access to efficiency government rebates
Lower environmental impacts and carbon footprint
Better housing maintenance costs
Prevents “energy poverty” (spending over 10% of income on heating/cooling), as electricity costs rise faster than income
Homelessness is not a young person’s fault. Our society creates the problem so we all have to be a part of the solutions. We do not have to accept the status quo. We can bring youth homelessness and housing instability to an end.
For World Social Justice Day, we invite you to come out to our gallery and learn about youth homelessness impacts, interventions, and innovations.