How to Help

Donate Goods

Thank you so much for your support of Youth Without Shelter. We greatly appreciate your dedication to our cause.


PLEASE NOTE: In order to make the best use of your valuable time and resources and to adhere to our health and safety policies, we kindly request that you DO NOT PRE-PACKAGE YOUR DONATION into individual gifts or bags. Our youth have diverse needs, and part of our policy is to inspect all donated products. This ensures that we can effectively distribute items based on specific requirements as they arise.

All donations must be NEW and in ORIGINAL PACKAGING. 

Due to limited storage space and cleaning facilities, we cannot accept used or gently used clothing.

We are not currently accepting used furniture, used computers or television donations. (For gifts of gently used furniture we suggest you connect with our partner agency The Furniture Bank).

We are not able to accept any used or lightly used towels or bedsheets. Please contact the Toronto Humane Society for all used towel and sheet donations.

We are not able to accept expired or close-to-expiring food for the YWS food bank due to a lack of storage. 

Please rest assured that your donations of food, hygiene products, and new clothing directly benefit our youth. Your generosity is immensely meaningful to our residents and our shelter. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of the youth we serve.


For all donation inquiries and donation drop-off scheduling, please contact Mike at 416.748.0110 x 62.

We appreciate that team building is an important aspect of your corporate giving. If you’re interested in finding creative ways to engage your team while collecting items for our shelter, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to provide you with suggestions and ideas to make the experience both rewarding and enjoyable for your group.

Items of Greatest Need: 

Meal Drop Offs

If you are looking schedule a meal drop off, please contact Mike to schedule a drop off day and time at 416-748-0110 ext. 62


  • Hoodies
  • Athletic Wear 
  • Leggings
  • Flipflops
  • Boxers and Briefs

Food Bank:

  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, soya sauce, hot sauce, etc.)
  • Salad dressing
  • Pancake mix
  • Cooking oils
  • Vegetarian/vegan instant meals
  • Gluten-free non-perishables 
  • Jam
  • Juice boxes
  • Tea and coffee
  • Hot Chocolate 
  • Canned meat and fish
  • Canned milk
  • Snack foods
  • Sugar


  • Menstrual Pads
  • Black Hair Care (Shampoo, conditioner, styling products)
  • Silk Caps / Bonnets 
  • Body Wash Kits (scented and unscented)
  • Sensitive Skin Products
  • Lip Balm
  • Lotion
  • Wide Tooth Combs 

YWS Food Bank

Our YWS Food Bank provides healthy and nutritious foods for our past residents living within our community. On an average week, YWS can see around 15-20 youth drop by to collect a YWS food package. Around the holidays, this number can triple. Food packages include a variety of items to help provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for those in need.

Looking to create a Food Bank Care Kit?

Here’s a shopping list with everything you’ll need!

Gift Cards:

We are in need of gift cards to support our youth! Cards for Amazon, grocery stores, restaurants, or Visa gift cards allow our current and former youth who still receive after-care from our support team to shop for their own housewares, clothing, dietary restrictions, and much more. Shopping with gift cards empowers our youth to become independent and inspires them to purchase items that showcase their individuality.  

Grocery cards allow youth to: 

  • Shop based on personal dietary and allergy needs
  • Learn about health and nutrition
  • Develop budgeting skills
  • Learn to shop sustainably to avoid food waste
  • Learn how to meal prep and create shopping lists
  • Search for local deals/coupons/ sales
  • Experiment with new ingredients
  • Buy frozen goods 
  • Buy items in bulk to save
  • Shop local (rather than taking transit to YWS food bank)
  • Buy fresh fruits and veggies (things our food bank cannot provide)

Please note: Gift cards do qualify for tax receipts

In order to qualify, please provide YWS with the following information when donating:

  1. Full name
  2. Full address
  3. Phone number
  4. Email address
  5. Original sales receipt OR a clear picture/scan of the full sales receipt
  6. Value of each Gift Card (written on the cards themselves, or provided with a note for each)

Other items of greatest need:

  • Items to support our Mental Health Program
  • Sanitary napkins and tampons
  • Re-usable water bottles
  • Twin sized cotton bed sheets, top sheets, pillow cases, and comforters
  • Small and medium size suitcases
  • Laundry baskets
  • Twin blankets
  • Bath towels
  • Blow up mattresses (with air pump) SIZE: Double
  • New suitcases and duffle bags
  • 80-120L clear plastic bins for storage 
  • Hair accessories 
  • Earbuds / Headphones 


Items YWS cannot accept:

  1. Wrapped gifts
  2. Mouth wash
  3. Chewing gum
  4. Nail clippers
  5. Metal nail files
  6. Nail scissors
  7. Aerosol products
  8. Bath bombs

Items we cannot accept until further notice:

  1. Socks
  2. Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  3. Children’s items
  4. Q-Tips


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