Our Place is a registered non-profit agency that provides shelter, support and hope for homeless and at-risk youth aged 16-24 in the Region of Peel.
What we do
Through our emergency shelter and outreach programs, we support and empower youth facing homelessness in Peel region, to take control of their lives and make a healthy, new start.
All youth have a place to call home.
Empowering youth through prevention, intervention and support in accessing safe and sustainable housing.
History of Our Place Peel
In 1985, Our Place opened a 6-bed residential program in Brampton in response to the community’s growing need for services to help youth at risk for homelessness. Since then, we have expanded to a second location in Mississauga.
From 1989 to 2020, we have continued to grow our resources and our team – this includes opening a 14-bed emergency shelter and launching multiple programs, such as our H.Y.P.E (Helping Youth Prepare Effectively) Outreach Program and our Resource Room. Since opening our doors, we have also successfully implemented our Outreach Initiative aimed at bridging the gap between shelter and community, as well as many more important initiatives.
In 2021, we acquired the Brampton Youth Shelter so that we could provide more support to homeless youth in our community. This allowed us to provide an additional 40 beds to youth – keeping them off the streets, working with them to prevent homelessness, diverting them from emergency shelter when possible, assessing their needs and providing quality service and care in a supportive environment.
Although we are proud of our accomplishments over the last 35 years, we know that there is still a lot to be done and we look forward to continuing to improve the lives of youth who are disadvantaged and experiencing homelessness in the Region of Peel.
New brand. Same mission.
In 2020, Our Place conducted a brand evaluation and subsequent rebrand that better represents where we are as an organization and where we plan to be in the future. Say hello to our new brand.
Chief Executive Officer
Christy Upshall has been a part of the Our Place Peel team for more than 10 years. As Executive Director, Christy oversees all aspects of the organization, including the residential programs and any new programs. She is responsible for fundraising, fiscal responsibility and providing leadership support to the management team. Christy also ensures that the agency’s goals, values and mission are being met and leads the agency into further expansion.
After completing her BA from the University of Western Ontario and her Diploma in Child and Youth Work from Humber College, Christy worked at YSAP (Youth Substance Abuse Program), where she gained in-depth experience with youth addictions. While at YSAP, Christy decided to pursue a career working for a non-profit organization which supported youth. She chose Our Place Peel because it offers a one of a kind program in the Region of Peel, helping empower youth and putting the youths’ needs first and foremost.
Christy finds it very rewarding to see youth build the confidence to meet and exceed the goals they set for themselves and to look into the future with a positive outlook. “OPP is extremely important for the community as we are the only emergency shelter for homeless youth within the Region of Peel,” says Christy. “The Region has grown over the years and the need to support youth who are in need of shelter or who are at-risk is more important than ever. We have to recognize that youth are not just leaders of tomorrow but also of today and, at the end of the day, our young people will be the ones who will shape the future.”
She also appreciates the support the organization receives from the community. “I am always amazed at the commitment of the many volunteers who work endless hours to support the work that we do with in the community. Without volunteers, our work would suffer as we rely on them to support the youth, to guide the agency and to raise funds to ensure that Our Place Peel can thrive. Volunteers give up their free time to help make the community a better place.”
There are a variety of different reasons why young people end up homeless, yet the need for services and programs to assist these young people remain the same. With Christy’s passionate leadership, Our Place Peel will continue to support these youth so they can have a better future.
Sr. Manager of Outreach and Program Development
Dani Mills is the Sr. Manager of Outreach and Program Development for Our Place Peel. For the past six years Dani has been a part of system and leading practice development amongst the youth shelter system, in hopes for a system wide low barrier focus. Dani is hardworking, ethical, driven and inclusive, with the ability to deliver client-centered program results.
Dani’s passion to help youth derives from personal experiences, and works to provide safety, and choice, while impacting the systems to support youth and their specific needs. Dani has extensive clinical experience counselling youth within treatment centres, the American prison system, as well through athletics.
“In my eyes there is no such thing as “hard-to-serve” youth, there is only misunderstood emotions and impulses trying to communicate their feelings and needs in the only way they may know.”
Sr. Manager of Residential Services
Our Board Members
Judy Holcomb Williams