Twenty-five years ago, The Dam opened its doors for the first time. It was the invention of Michael Clarke and Bill Crawford who had experience working with street youth in downtown Toronto. They learned that many came from communities around Toronto, and went to the source to establish an intervention.
That first drop-in was in the mall at Meadowvale Town Centre. Meadowvale Town Centre is still home to one of two locations operated by The Dam. In 2012, The Dam expanded to Cooksville with the help of World Vision. The Dam’s leaders also take programs, such Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, out to the community and schools.
Although there have been times over the past 25 years when floods, funding and mall redesigns have pushed The Dam out of its spaces, it has never ceased to provide support to youth to belong, connect and lead.