On Thursday, March 3, 2022, we came together as a community to celebrate a momentous occasion. It was the official launch of Why Not Youth Housing and the opening of our first house! We also kicked off what is going to be a year of celebration for Why Not City Missions, as we mark our 20th anniversary.
From 2002 to 2022, Why Not City Missions has been serving the city of Brantford. In 2002, Charlie and Sue Kopczyk began to reach out to people on the streets in Brantford, Ontario, spending countless hours in the downtown core listening to people who sorely needed to be heard. They prayed for them, laughed with them, and built relationships with them.
Over the years that followed, Why Not operated out of different locations and grew, both in operation and scope. Today, most people know us for Why Not Youth Centre, which operates 7 days a week at 368 Colborne serving youth at-risk.
In 2021, Why Not created and launched Why Not Youth Housing in response to the significant housing crisis here in Brantford. Our goal is to eliminate the prospect and reality of homelessness for good in the lives of youth who are at highest risk, and through strategic programming, prepare them for productive adulthood.
While the group that gathered on Thursday jointly lauded the opening of Why Not Youth Housing’s first house, and kick-started the celebration of 20 years of impact, we also shared in a profound moment of honouring Charlie Kopczyk, the founder, president and pastor of Why Not City Missions.
For 20 years, Charlie has served the community of Brantford. No one can really capture the impact that Charlie has had because how do you measure or weigh lives transformed by the power of someone who cares?
We have chosen to name this, the first of Why Not Youth Housing’s hoped-for fleet of houses, CHARLIE’S PLACE in honour of Charlie Kopczyk who started it all 20 years ago. It’s our hope and prayer that Charlie’s Place will be the launching pad for many young men who just need a safe and stable place to launch from. It’s what Charlie, and all of us, are hoping for.
With the launch of Why Not Youth Housing our reach and impact is growing.
We cannot do what we do without our community. As we step into this new arena of providing housing we are going to need each of you. We’ll need your ongoing financial support and encouragement. We’ll need your advocacy and partnership as you are able.
This isn’t the time to shrink back or step away. We, and the youth we serve, are counting on you. Your continued involvement and support is the best way to honour the legacy of the great man we know and love, Charlie Kopczyk and to continue the impact of Why Not City Missions in Brantford for the next 20 years and beyond.
We would like to honour and recognize those who made the launch of Why Not Youth Housing possible. Our foundation level donors: Scott and Michele Lyons of Extend Communications, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. represented Thursday by General Manager Jeff Small, Chris and Courtney Constabile of Chris Costabile – The Agency, as well as significant grants from Enterprise Brant and 100 People Who Care Brant. Many others stepped up to contribute with their time, finances and support and we could not have done it without you.