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Tuesday November 13th, 2012

Posted at 12:00pm

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This Saturday at the Capitol Theatre, the Windsor Youth Centre premieres What is Home, a film which exposes the problem of youth homelessness as widespread and consequential.

The film features the story of a young woman with a full year of university under her belt and others who talk about their lives with clarity and sincerity and demonstrates that homelessness is not an exclusive club, especially among young people who have little control over their home-life.

Tamara Kowalska of the Windsor Youth Centre says that the 100 or so young people who now depend on the Windsor Youth Centre represent just a fraction of our homeless youth.  They come from various backgrounds but the common denominator is that they are all looking for a place where they feel welcome and safe – “Essentially, we are all looking for a place where we feel at home.”

Organizers say that before the WYC opened just over a year ago, there was absolutely no place for homeless teens to go to get their most basic and immediate needs met.  Kowalska states that supporting organizations which prioritize our youth puts Windsor on par with cities such as Toronto, London, or Ottawa that established drop-in centres for homeless teens years ago.  After being open for just one year, the WYC serves 1000 meals a month and over 40 volunteers help to create a friendly atmosphere which provides stability and empowerment for youth who might otherwise be stranded.

Last summer, two of those volunteers proposed a book project to enable youth to write their own definitions of home and the project attracted the attention of OMS Entertainment who partnered with the newly-incorporated Stagehouse Multimedia to create the What is Home documentary, a counterpart to the book.  What is Home sets a precedent for the filmmakers who aim to document the untold stories of other local non-profit organizations.

The screening takes place at 8:15 Saturday evening at the Capitol.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at the MILK Coffee Bar, Villains Beastro, or the Windsor Youth Centre.

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