Keep a Roof Over Their Heads

Homelessness DOES exist in St. Thomas & Elgin County

Many people picture the homeless as those living on the streets, in parks, in doorways and in other public places. But the “hidden homeless” – an estimated 80% of those without a place to call home – are much less visible.

(Source: Raising A Roof Website)

One-fifth of Canada’s homeless population is between the ages of 13 & 24

In Canada young people aged 13-24 make up about 20% of those experiencing homelessness, according to Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. In April 2018, the City of St. Thomas as the local provincially appointed Service Manager facilitated its first Homelessness Enumeration Project to gain a better understanding of the scope and depth of homelessness locally. During the 2018 Enumeration, 26 unaccompanied youth between the ages of 16 and 24 were identified as experiencing homelessness. Youth represented 20% of the population experiencing homelessness in the area, matching the national average (Stephen Gaetz, Erin Dej, Tim Richter, & Melanie Redman (2016): The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press).


of youth in Canada experience homelessness

Help ‘Keep a Roof’ over the heads of at-risk women, men & youth in our community.

Housing is simply not affordable

In 2020, the average market rent for a one-bedroom apartment in St. Thomas was $725. (CMHC-SCHL Primary Rental Market Statistics) The current maximum shelter allowance for an Ontario Works (social assistance) recipient is $390. For someone receiving ODSP, the maximum is $497. (Source: Income Security Advocacy Centre)

Average one-bedroom apartment in St. Thomas

You can become a sponsor

If you are a business owner or individual we invite you to show your support through our various sponsorship levels. Click here to view our Sponsorship Opportunities. If you have any questions please complete the form below.

Your donation will go directly into our supportive housing program

Our housing programs are called “supportive housing” because we provide more than a roof over the heads of women, men and youth. Our residents are linked to a network of services including those that give them the opportunity to develop a variety of life skills. We help them set goals, increase their employability, and become better able to contribute to their community and broader society.

Our Supportive Housing program includes our 7 residences (Horizon House, Unity House, Harmony House, Fairwinds for Youth, several independant living apartments, YWCA Women’s Residence and Second Story our Men’s Residence),

Donate today!

By phone (519) 631-9800 or toll-free at 1-800-461-0954

By mail or in person 16 Mary St. West, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 2S3

Online today through our secure online donation system

Send an eTransfer to

Learn more about eTransfer

Platinum Sponsors ($5,000 +)

myFM 94.1 St.Thomas logo
MP Custom Homes
Westminster Mutual Insurance logo
Doug Tarry Homes
Canadian Tire

Debbie Hamilton & Associates Ltd

Gold Sponsors ($3,000)

Hayhoe Homes

Green Lane Community Trust Fund

Masco Canada

Silver Sponsors ($2,000)

Cams Heating and Air Conditioning

Bronze Sponsors ($1,000)

Donwest Custom Homes

Don & Hazel Charitable Foundation

Elgin Carpet One Floor and Home
Oegema Turkey Farm
Southwestern Tax Services
Talbot Trail Optimists

Talbot Trail Optimists

Brick Sponsors ($500)

Beamish Landscape Services
Capital Management Group
Father Ernie Deslippe Knights of Columbus
Judy & Bob Upsdell
June Ayrhart
Neil Watson
Port Stanley Legion
Sandra Datars Bere
Shedden Oddfellows #310
Silverthorn Landscape Supplies
The Yarmouth Group
West Elgin Mutual Insurance

Shingle Sponsors ($250)

Bowsher & Bowsher Law Firm
Carole Watson
Elizabeth Sebestyen
Fixed Right Automotive
Geerlinks Home Hardware
Huron Tractor
Janet Golding
Judith Durkee
Mary Ellen Bolt
MD Construction & Contracting
Sandi & John Pyper
Sharon Battley
University of Women’s Club St. Thomas
Williams Funeral Home

Donors ($1-249)

Amy Dale
Angela Devries
Ann Lawrence
Barbara Campbell
Desjardins Insurance, Johnathan Hill
Gustavo Franco
Helen Albert
Monica Smith
Sandra Singer
Sarah Lounsbury & Derek Weaver

Thank you to our generous community for Keeping A Roof Over Their Heads. 

With your contribution we raised $68,495.00 to date towards our 2021 Campaign.

Lisa’s journey

A reflection of the Housing Supports offered through the YWCA.  Struggling with generational poverty, abuse and addictions, at age 48 Lisa was referred to the YWCA St. Thomas Elgin by her continuing education teacher. Lisa was trying to make changes in an environment...

Amy’s journey

Amy now holds her head up high; with a radiant smile and looks forward to the future.

Courtney’s journey

Home is not a place… it’s a feeling

Natalie’s journey

The YWCA gave me the opportunity to start over and choose a better life.


For more information about our Keep A Roof Campaign, please complete the form below and our Keep A Roof Coordinator, Sarah Lounsbury, will be in contact with you.

Please note inquiries will be reviewed within 2-3 business days.

Recent News

Summer Aquatics Pool Facility Attendant & Monitor(s)

Summer Aquatics Pool Facility Attendant & Monitor(s)

The YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, established over 110 years ago, is a not for profit, social service agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The YWCA is currently accepting applications for Pool Facility Attendant & Monitor(s) for Summer Aquatic Programs...

Summer Aquatics Pool Facility Attendant & Monitor(s)

Summer Aquatics Staff (various positions)

The YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, established over 110 years ago, is a not for profit, social service agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The YWCA is currently accepting applications for Lifeguards, Swim Instructors and Water Safety Assistants for Summer...

Summer Aquatics Pool Facility Attendant & Monitor(s)

Before and After School Split Shift Relief Staff

Job locations: St.Thomas, Aylmer and East Elgin Expected start date: ASAP About usThe YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin is a Not-For-Profit organization founded in 1902 in St.Thomas-Elgin. The School Age Childcare department has been serving families in our region since the...

Preventing A Lockdown Generation – YWCA Canada Report 2021

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The last year and a half has challenged us all, especially young people. From frustrating school disruptions to heartbreaking job layoffs to the concerning mental health crisis, this is not how young people envisioned starting out their adult lives. If we don’t do...

New Executive Director Announced

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June 23, 2021 A Message from our President   It is with great pleasure that I announce the new Executive Director for the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, Lindsay Rice. Lindsay will be starting officially in this role as of July 5th. The Board of Directors is both saddened...

Support in Bloom Spring Raffle Winners

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New beginnings blossom here! This Spring we are proud to announce we will be hosting our first ever online raffle, Support In Bloom! All proceeds will support the variety of programs and services we offer. Whether it be extended learning through our Skills Training...

Announcing our 2021/22 Board of Directors Nominees

Announcing our 2021/22 Board of Directors Nominees

May 20, 2021 YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin announces proposed slate for Board of Directors for 2021/22. Erica Arnett – Erica has a Health Sciences degree from UWO and has been working in Public Health for over 15 years.  Erica recently completed her MBA.  Erica was a member...

Call to action for youth facing barriers

Call to action for youth facing barriers

LETTER TO MAYOR PRESTON, MP VECCHIO & MPP YUREK  May 2021 Dear Community Partners, Whether we’re adults, seniors, youth, or children, we know that we’re all struggling with the effects of COVID 19.  But did you know that the instances of youth suicide - both local...

Announcing our 2021/22 Board of Directors Nominees

Executive Director Announces Retirement

May 11, 2021 With mixed feelings, I announce that our Executive Director, Marla Champion, has informed the Board of Directors of her plans to retire. Marla joined the YWCA St Thomas Elgin as the Executive Director in 1993. Over the last 25 years, under her leadership,...

The Doug Tarry Challenge

The Doug Tarry Challenge

Time to Build! May 5, 2021 - Project Tiny Hope is a partnership effort between Doug Tarry Homes, the YWCA and Sanctuary Homes. We have a shared vision to bring quality, energy efficient, well maintained and supportive affordable housing to the community of St. Thomas....

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