Wow Thanks!

Thanks to you, we’ve been able to change the futures of vulnerable youth in Calgary.

Why We Exist

Giving Youth a Chance

Calgary’s vulnerable youth deserve a future where they can be successful and thrive.

The reality is that many kids in under-the-radar Calgary communities face daunting challenges in life. Economically, socially, academically and with their mental health.

This is not their fault. Cyclical poverty, social isolation and chronic stress are very real in our city. Without a leg up, these youth will face even greater challenges as adults.

That’s where we come in.

We give kids whose lives are subject to chaos and uncertainty a welcoming home-like place, stability, nutritious food, help with homework, and healthy connections they may not have access to elsewhere.

These simple opportunities can be life-altering.

Our programs are designed to help youth reach their full potential and help break the cycles of poverty that prevent them from becoming healthy, strong, contributing members of society.

A Safe Space

A Place That Feels Like Home

YCC operates out of welcoming, warm, home-like settings within walking distance of school or home in vulnerable communities.

Every day after school and during the breaks, kids aged 9-15 run to our centre for healthy snacks, a conversation with a university student role model, access to technology, a chance to play a sport, take a free music lesson, read a book in a quiet reading space, and paint a canvass. After a hot dinner, served by a mom, they do a chore and take a cookie for the walk home (most of them to Calgary Housing).

We are open every weekday during after-school hours when youth are most at risk of getting into or causing trouble.

Police and studies show that with safe spaces like ours, crime goes down, high school graduation goes up, kids don’t get into as much trouble, gang membership goes down, and families are supported.

And it works because of the many, incredibly generous, compassionate people in this city who make Youth Centres of Calgary’s safe spaces a reality for many of Calgary’s youth.

A Proven Model

What Makes it Work?

Calgary Youth Centres proven model for positively impacting vulnerable youth includes the following guiding principles:

  • Open to youth ages 9-15

  • Operates in a house instead of an institutional building

  • Plenty of activities, sports equipment, art, and instruments available to keep kids engaged and entertained

  • Daily snacks and warm meals provided, addressing food insecurity

  • Daily chores carried out to build a sense of responsibility

  • Safe environment ensured with adult supervision and mentorship during all open hours

  • Homework help and quiet spaces accessible

  • Positive socialization opportunities and friendships with kids right in their community

  • Sense of community and responsibility developed

With these core systems in place and donor support, YCC has plans to open more centres in other Calgary communities in need.

  • Volunteer Stories

    Volunteer Story – Liz

    Hey, I’m Liz! I’m so excited to be volunteering at YCC and have the opportunity to be work with the kids of Ogden. I have lived in Calgary for the last 17 years and have 2 children now in their 20’s as well as a dog named Benji! I love all kinds of sports and…

  • News

    Calgary Awards: ‘It’s an act of kindness to celebrate the people who do good work.’

    Darren Krause  Originally posted on Livewire Calgary   Calgary’s 2022 Citizen of the Year Jane Wachowich had no idea she’d been nominated. When she was invited to a Zoom call with Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Wachowich just assumed it was about pressing social issues. After all, Wachowich has been a stalwart in providing a space for…

  • News

    Jane Wachowich Awarded Citizen of the Year 2022

    Original Article: CTV News Calgary She’s a corporate lawyer, a businesswoman and a philanthropist for some of Calgary’s most vulnerable young children, but Jane Wachowich can now add ‘Citizen of the Year’ to her incredible resume. The Calgary woman took home the top honour in the city’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday evening where 11…


Our Values

  • Access

    We believe that youth have the right to healthy ‘out of school’ support that sets them on a path to breaking cycles of poverty.

  • Youth Empowerment

    We empower youth to contribute to their choices and wellbeing, to their family, and to their community.

  • Respect

    We embrace the unique identities and experiences of all and model respect for self, volunteers, friends, and property.

  • Integrity

    We value our position as a trusted grassroots community service, and we commit to accountability, transparency, and efficiency for responsible use of all our resources.

Our Mission

What we're up to

Locating in the most vulnerable communities, we reduce the financial, physical, and emotional impacts of poverty for youth and their families, giving youth a chance to grow and succeed by providing a safe and inclusive space where:

  • youth genuinely experience belonging and support one another
  • meaningful youth involvement builds responsibility, life skills, and self-esteem and,
  • programs and activities develop practical skills and instill positive attitudes

Make a Difference

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Join others who have made a significant difference in Ogden with the youth we serve every day!

Some of the ways you can be involved in changing real lives: