Hockey Helps the Homeless gears up for fifth year at Queen’s

Ice hockey tournament raised $75,000 last year 

Hockey Helps the Homeless at Queen’s was founded in 2014.
Hockey Helps the Homeless at Queen’s was founded in 2014.
Supplied by Adrian Burger

For the fifth year in a row, Queen’s students are lacing up their skates to raise awareness and financial aid for Kingston’s population of homeless youth.

On Friday, Hockey Helps the Homeless at Queen’s (HHTH-QU) — a non-profit hockey tournament promoting support for youth homelessness — will be held at the nearby Invista Centre. A $50 signup fee is required of each individual player, along with an additional $250 collective team fee. The tournament’s committee expects to host 160 players and a dozen teams this year, with each team holding roughly 16 to 17 players. The group raised $75,000 during their 2017 tournament.

Incepted in 1996 by Gary Scullion and a group of Toronto businessmen, Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) — which nationally boasts 1,000 volunteers — has spread considerably to currently support 45 local homeless aid agencies across Canada.

In 2014, Queen’s acted as the first Canadian post-secondary school to host an HHTH event. The tournament garners around $50,000 each year, with all proceeds from the game being donated to the Kingston Youth Shelter.

Though the tournament is affiliated with a national organization, event co-chair Adrian Burger, Comm ’18, told The Journal that creating a partnership with Kingston’s Youth Shelter ensures the tournament’s efforts are felt locally.

“We’re all really passionate about hockey, but it’s also a great opportunity to give back to the local community,” he said of the club’s mission. “I think the fact that it stays local is a big thing.”

Youth homelessness in Kingston is a local issue which warrants attention, Burger added. United Way’s Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington 2018 report said one in three Kingston shelter residents in 2013 were between the ages of 15 and 24.  

“That’s why we’ve [chosen] to help the Kingston Youth Shelter,” Burger said. “[It’s] an organization that provides housing, resources and reintegration strategies for at-risk youth.”

“We’ve been able to tour the [Kingston Youth Shelter] facilities a few times and the impact is pretty direct.”

Donating to HHTH-QU can be done here

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