Our humble beginnings
Youth In Action was started 1995 out of the need to help kids in the community of North Kipling in Etobicoke to find something constructive to do. In the neighborhood of about a three block radius there is ten apartment buildings ranging from 16 to 30 floors and several of them have three wings. There was dozens of young kids hanging out in the lobby of their building, at the shopping Plaza across the street, in the parking lot of the community centre, and on the play ground of the buildings. Their ages ranges from about five to twenty years old. They had nothing on their hands but time and no organized or supervisor activity to do. Needless to say this type of atmosphere spell disasters as they came up with their own creative ways of passing the time. As time went on, vandalism, theft, bullying, and drugs pushing was the theme of the neighborhood. The young kids behavior were not only a concern to parent and residents of the area, but the teachers and law enforcement officer were also quite alarmed.
As a single mom at the time with two small children of my own my biggest focus was finding a safe place for them to live in better neighborhood. This task turns out to be one of my biggest challenge, as it turns out relocating to an affordable place to live in the GTA was next to impossible. So I decided to seek for some divine intervention, as I was praying about the situation with fear for the lives of my kids, I was suddenly interrupted with the idea that this was not a challenge for divine help; but what about the hundreds of other children that would have to live in that neighborhood, my kids were no more special than. Are they not also deserving of a safe place to live. It suddenly became very apparent me since I clearly did not want to be apart of the problem, I could choose to become apart of the solution. I then turned my focus on what I could do to make a difference and initiate change for the situation. I started to pray and also asked the pastor at the church I attended to pray for divine direction.
Shortly there after while coming home from church one Sunday afternoon I looked across at the community centre with its broken down basketball hoops, I had a eureka moment. It became as clear as day what I needed to do, I turn to my friend I was with and said I know what I know now what I need to do for the kids in the community, I will organized some basketball games for them. TO confirm that very strong impression I got a visit the following morning from two young people who showed up at my door, they stated that the pastor of my church sent them to find out if I would like to organized and run some basketball games for the kids in the area. The two young people sat down and helped me to put a plan together and then I never saw are herd from them again. It was from this interesting experience that YIACCO was born.