Youth Hostel and drop in resource centre: Open 24/7 - 17 Centre Street, in St. Catharines ( View Map)

  • Phone: (905) 984-4365 / 1-833-984-4365
  • Email: Click here

Neighbourhood Awakening

The RAFT works with communities throughout Niagara by generating initiatives to create a positive impact in the neighbourhood and with young people.


Community development initiatives seek to empower individuals and groups to make positive changes in their communities.

They target stressed neighbourhoods and are designed to strengthen communities, engage young people and foster empowerment, independence and self-esteem.

In the past these initatives have included:

  • neighbourhood gardens
  • greening initiatives
  • neighbourhood conversations
  • neighbourhood houses
  • community events

The RAFT works with neighbourhoods across Niagara to bring communities together and make sustainable change.


  • Project Reclaim - Update

    Project Reclaim is a social enterprise initiative that combines employment training, green initiatives and community development to improve the lives of at risk youth. The program addresses unemployment through job training, education credit recovery and LICO through the creation of a social enterprise to reinvest funds generated from product sales back into the participating community.
    Read more »
  • Community Development - Western Hill

    Awakening Neighbourhoods Initiative has been working in St. Catharines over the past year to revitalize stressed neighborhoods by making positive changes. Through the Community Animator the RAFT is working with individuals in St. Catharines to help build healthy and strong communities.
    Read more »
  • Market Garden

    Participants learn about urban farming, while becoming active in their neighbourhoods. The program is funded by Niagara Prosperity Initiative.
    Read more »
News & Updates

Two Years of Shelter Diversion: Learnings and Lessons

Aug 9th, 2021

This report examines the effectiveness of a Centralized Shelter Diversion program in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada between April 2019 and April 2021. The dataset consists of information gathered by a team of Shelter Diversion workers who had 2,643 interactions with 1,181 unique people as they sought access to shelter provided by the RAFT’s Youth Shelter, Southridge Community Church’s Adult Shelter, or the Boys and Girls Club of Niagara’s Nightlight Youth Shelter. The report plots the n...

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