In 1970 we started our flagship long-term residential program with 16 youth. The city was a different place, but some of the issues our youth were facing then, are remarkably similar to issues our youth are facing today.
Of course today, youth are also subject to new pressures no one could even imagine in 1970, with a whole lot of new ways of becoming at-risk.
As Delisle grew with the city, mirroring its diversity, we developed new programs to meet these challenges.
In 1978 the Day Program got its start to help teens learn life skills and in 1980 in collaboration with the Toronto District School Board teachers were incorporated into the program and academic credits were offered.
In 1985 the counselling program was launched and in 1993 we began offering services in several Toronto high schools.
In 2000 Centralized Access to Residential Services was begun and in 2001 The Special Needs Team became a part of Delisle.
Our newest programs STARS for queer youth started in 2010 and The Studio opened at the beginning of 2011.
This year we'll provide support and encouragement for over 2,000 clients. A lot of things have changed over 41 years, but not we hope the essential things. Everything we do is based on what's best for our clients, and rooted in compassion and integrity.
We are fortunate to have staff that shares these ideals and has risen to the challenges of working in a busy, growing organization. It's become a cliché to say an organization feels like a family. But we can't think of a better way of expressing Delisle than through its clients, staff, donors, and supporters.
When we succeed society wins, both in terms of human and financial capital. Because every troubled adult unable to cope with life not only represents a tragic waste of potential, but also negatively affects those around them and ultimately society at large.
And many troubled adults were once troubled youth.