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18 years ~ 1000's of youth ~ 100's of volunteers
35+ agencies ~ 1 great city!!!

EST 2004

Our history

In the summer of 2004 a group of service providers came together to try to better meet the needs of youth who were vulnerable or at-risk. The group recognized that youth require an event that was geared to their specific needs and where they could be connected with supports to help them break out of the cycle of poverty and homelessness. This initial event was funded by a generous donation from Cirque du Soleil. In 2005 the event changed it's name to Gear Up and has become an annual event for high-risk youth.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Gear Up event is to provide youth who are vulnerable or at-risk with supplies for winter, health services, self-care, and an opportunity to connect with service providers in an informal and welcoming setting.  The committee acknowledges that youth are different than adults and thus we must engage them in a unique manner. This is not a typical resource fair with booths about services available to them, rather we are offering them an afternoon “off the streets”. Gear Up provides them with a few hours to do some self-care, get some useful things, and to engage them in healthy connections which may move them to make healthy changes in their lives. Every year individuals, businesses, and agency staff get behind this event with their commitment of time, donations and support to make this an afternoon of caring and positive connections.

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