It is estimated that there are 35,000 youth across Canada living in emergency shelters and another 6,000 that sleep out on the streets on any given night. There are also another 225,000 at-risk youths – those that are not in school or not working…these youths are on the verge of moving becoming a street youth. Last week we did an article about Virgin Mobile's RE*Generation Program, put in place to help the homeless and at-risk youths in Canada by providing them with opportunities to better themselves. Every time someone buys a phone from Virgin Mobile that are participants in the program, a certain amount of money is donated to their program, generally $5 for an older Galaxy SIII to $15 for newer devices, such as a Galaxy S5 – a Galaxy S4 will give them $10. Virgin Mobile teams up with partners – CivicAction and Social Capital Partners to help others get involved and they donate to groups that deal directly with organizations that help the youth – NPower – Eva's Phoenix, Broadway Youth Resource Center, Wood's Homes, Threshold School of Building and many more. But they can only do so much with that many at-risk youths. Douglas Soltys and Jane McEntegart chatted about the last Re*Generation event and our source published the chat so we could read what they had to say about the event.
Doug makes a very good point – while he applauds what Virgin Mobile is doing, but with only Samsung participating on Virgin Mobile, the impact is limited. He also points out that while other carriers contribute to numerous charities, he wonders what would happen if the other carriers all teamed up with Virgin Mobile to tackle this issue together. Jane believes that we live in a world in that the Big Three carriers could all work together, although she doesn't believe that the solution is a "call to action for national carriers." She believes that rather than throw money into helping, we need to determine why it is happening in the first place and try to correct that problem first – at the source, so to speak. She says, "We need to ask ourselves how we as a society can keep children in school, keep them employed, keep roofs over their head, before they get to a point where they have nowhere to go and no one to turn to."
Doug agrees that constantly plugging holes only slows down the real problem…then wonders if the new startup companies could help in these areas and Jane believes they could help bridge the gap between "major corporations and the common man." She believes at some point companies become so huge they no longer connect with the people, whereas the startups are small enough to work with the common person. They both agree that the problem exists, as do many others in the country. They also agree that it will take more than just Virgin Mobile to solve the problem and they feel that the root of the problem needs to be fixed so that the youth never get to the point of being homeless. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page if you'd like to discuss this sad problem…as always we would love to hear from you.