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About Us

Our Youth

The young people who attend Why Not have a few things in common: almost all of them live in poverty, most only have contact with one or fewer of their parents, and even fewer have a safe, consistent place to live. In fact, half of the young people attending the centre are “mobile,” living in three or more places each year. Some of our teen community members report living in 15 or more places in a single year. While our organization is not a shelter, we function like a community living room so that, no matter how many places they sleep, we’re still the same.

Some of the other challenges that plague our teen community members are bullying, substance dependency, emerging mental illness, unplanned pregnancies, criminal activity, abuse, poverty, lost identification, and dropping out of school.

That’s why providing a support community to these young people is of such vital importance. By meeting basic needs like safety, food, belonging, and helping them to find shelter, they find more stability, which is deeply essential for moving forward with their lives instead of being swept away by crisis.


The following is a listing of basic statistics compiled between 2016 and 2022 on the teens attending Why Not Youth Centre:

  • On average, 20 young people attend Why Not every day that the youth centre is open

  • 35% of the group identifies as Native (status or non-status)

  • Assist an average of two youth every week who are experiencing suicidal thoughts with safety planning and long-term supports

  • 50% of our youth population is mobile, living in 3 or more places each year

  • A young person receives crisis support at Why Not at least once every 45 minutes

  • We serve more than 210 meals each week

  • 80% of the youth centre attendees visit most days that we are open

  • 94% of youth centre attendees have attended for more than 6 months

Funding and Board of Directors

Why Not is a registered charity without government funding. We are funded by a blend of income sources. These include annual fundraisers, a donor base of over 200 annual private donors, and small to medium sized short-term grants from foundations including but not limited to Ontario Trillium Foundation, Brant Community Foundation, City of Brantford Grants, and United Way Community Impact Grants.

The re-Source Thrift Shop is a social enterprise run by volunteers in order to generate revenue for local charities. Why Not is very thankful to be one of the three main recipients for the store. Please consider donating your gently used furniture and household items to the store and check out what they have to offer at 320 North Park St, Unit 2, Brantford, Ontario; Mon-Fri: 10am to 5pm + Sat: 10am to 3pm.

Why Not’s dynamic board of directors includes long-term Brantford residents, entrepreneurs, academics, and social service representatives. They work with the staff team to ensure that Why Not continues to impact the lives of local youth.

Please direct question about our Board of Directors to our board chair, Mike Bosveld:

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