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LOFT Mission and History
LOFT stands for Life Opportunities Food and Technology. Initiated in 2001, the LOFT was developed in consultation with and in response to the expressed interests of local youth which aims to address youth issues and concerns in the Christie Ossington Community through meaningful youth engagement and community development.
LOFT Youth Centre for Social Enterprise and Innovation is a pioneering multi-use space that fosters creativity, community engagement and entrepreneurship for youth in Toronto. Youth involvement in all aspects of LOFT YCSEI’s operations makes it truly a youth-led initiative, and equips participants with the tools to create change – both in their own lives and in the community. Youth are provided with social supports, skills training, mentorship and networking opportunities through programs and employment. Marginalized community youth (16 to 24 years) including those who are a newcomer, immigrant, out-school, street-involved and those with a criminal history will have the opportunity to develop skills integral to employment and education success while supporting their development as community citizens.
The Centre offers youth many ways to get involved in the community and access services and life opportunities including:
- A welcoming, safe and comfortable drop-in center with a positive atmosphere
- Computer access to write cover letters, resumes, conduct job search, surf the net, connect with youth and family members via the web cam or check e-mail
- Employment and re-entry education support, as well as peer tutoring
- Access to a sound recording studio and mentorship in beat making, emceeing, and marketing/distribution strategies
- Technological opportunities such as music production and editing, graphic design and web site development