Servus Charity Challenge Spotlight: The Doorway

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The Servus Charity Challenge unites the spirit of runners through a unique fundraising program with the main purpose of creating healthy communities that thrive together. As a member-owned credit union, it’s only natural that Servus Credit Union helps build up communities by supporting worthy causes.  

One of Servus’ members, The Doorway, knows a great deal about the importance of a supportive community as they provide vital services to young people on the street in Calgary. The Doorway is participating in the Charity Challenge for its third year. We’d like to share a bit about the wonderful work they are doing in our community.


Q: Can you tell us a little bit about The Doorway and the services you provide?

A: The Doorway began in 1988 as a social experiment under the name A Youth Employment Initiative, which evolved into The Back Door A Youth Employment Society. The Doorway began as an innovative way to help young street-entrenched people exit the streets and join mainstream society. Up until 2021, The Doorway served 17-24 year olds, but after launching a street outreach program in spring 2021, staff discovered a significant number of young adults 25-30 years old who were avoiding adult programs and services but still nourished dreams and hope for a better life. The Doorway then expanded its programs to include 25-30 year olds.

Q: Can you tell us more about your flagship program?

The Doorway’s flagship program is MyPlan. MyPlan is a two-year planning process to support young people in identifying and determining for themselves what they need to do to get off the streets. This process helps young people identify immediate needs and challenges to plan for longer term change. They voluntarily enter the program and set goals in 13 different areas of life which includes employment, housing, education, and health, among others. For each goal they set, they receive $15 cash as an incentive. It is through this process of choosing goals and activities, and discussing them with a volunteer or staff member, that young people begin to see the change they want to make in their lives.

Through this process of goal setting, Mid-Month Making Change Reflections and End-of-Month Reflections, young people gradually change from short-term survival to long-term planning. We also provide a safe, calm environment where young people can think, find warm meals, access to technology, and clothing and hygiene supplies. Sometimes young people just come to hang out, play a game of chess and have a conversation.

We are close to launching a new Alumni and Peer Program which will complement our existing programs outside of business hours and provide greater supports for young people exiting street life.

Q: How long has The Doorway been participating in the Charity Challenge with Servus Calgary Marathon?

A: The Doorway has been participating since 2022.

Q: How much have you raised via the Charity Challenge?

A: Between 2022 and 2023, we raised over $5,100. This year we are not running Steps Off the Street, our previous 5K charity run that Servus Credit Union sponsored. We are hoping our followers will jump on board the Servus Calgary Marathon and continue to help raise funds.

Q: How are funds used that are raised via the Charity Challenge?

A: The funds raised at this event will help our hot lunch program to provide warm meals and takeaway foods for young people coming to The Doorway. Any excess funds will be used to purchase additional supplies like underwear, phone chargers and hand warmers.

Q: Servus strives for its members to gain financial fitness. As an extension, our partnership with the Marathon encourages participants to achieve mental, physical, and financial fitness. How do you see The Doorway achieving those goals?

A: Everyday, The Doorway is walking alongside young people setting goals that support their own mental, physical and financial needs while planning for a better quality of life. The Doorway strives to improve its own financial fitness to ensure we can continue to help young people in the long term. As staff, we try to show up for each other to help each other through the difficult days. We continue to think of new ways we can help young people through voluntary tax filing and assistance with budgeting. 

Q: How can people donate to The Doorway?

A: People can donate to our page on the Charity Challenge HERE or register for the race through our unique referral link. Each registrant through our referral link provides an additional $5 to The Doorway!


Visit Servus.ca to find out more about Servus and how they can help you achieve your financial fitness, one step at a time.

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