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Kitchener's Reaching Our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) gets $20,000 grant

Mar 5, 2014

KITCHENER, ON, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Reaching Our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) has received a grant of $20,000 from The Co-operators. The funding, announced today, will support the administration of two social enterprise programs that provide job skills and employment opportunities to homeless and at-risk youth.

Reaching our Outdoor Friends (ROOF) is a multi-service agency for young people aged 12 to 25 experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Waterloo Region. It provides them with job skills and employment opportunities through two social enterprise programs: the Lunchbox, which provides catering; and Street Designs, which designs and heat-presses t-shirts. Both of these programs provide young people with practical and transferable job skills.

ROOF employs 42 youth per year with the goal of providing them with hands-on training, leadership skills, and skills pertaining to professionalism, resume writing, and certifications in WHMIS, Food Handling, and CPR.

"ROOF is committed to providing for the safety, support, and overall well-being of youth who are homeless or at-risk in Waterloo Region. We provide resources and services that allow these youth to make positive choices, set goals and take appropriate actions to end the cycle of homelessness," said Sandy Dietrich-Bell, Executive Director of ROOF. "We are the only "youth specific" agency in Kitchener-Waterloo fulfilling this vital need.  ROOF provides unconditional support in a safe environment, irrespective of religious affiliation, gender, race or sexual orientation."

The grant was provided through the Community Economic Development (CED) Funds, which were established in 1995 to commemorate The Co-operators 50th anniversary. The CED Funds are part of The Co-operators Foundation, which supports community-based organizations and other worthy causes throughout Canada. Through these Funds, The Co-operators has granted $4.3 million to 105 organizations. For more information on the Funds and their recipients, please visit:

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

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