Voices of RPIA
In Our Community
DAVID MATHESON Principal, Head of Portfolio Management
Covenant House Toronto
I’ve been involved in Covenant House through the annual Sleep Out for around five years. In this annual experience, people come together to sleep on the streets, so the homeless youth of Toronto don’t have to. To say that it has touched my life would be an understatement. I remember being nervous during my very first Sleep Out event because I didn’t know what to expect. It was very cold that first year and rained all night, but I was not dressed appropriately and couldn’t find a covered spot. I suppose, in a lot of ways, I experienced first-hand what so many homeless kids do – no one ever really intends to sleep on the street. Despite the rain and the cold, I woke up the next morning feeling warm inside - I met so many inspirational people, including residents of the house, and heard countless stories about the positive impact Covenant House had on each of their lives. I found a new sense of purpose through this immersive experience. The amazing work done by the frontline workers and staff of Covenant House inspired me to get more involved in this agency that provides shelter for so many of Toronto’s homeless, trafficked, and at-risk youth. Since then, I have participated in the Sleep Out every year, became a sports program volunteer, a mentor, and was privileged to chair the Sleep Out: Champions Edition for two years. No matter their reasons for being there, I was always touched by the kindness, energy, and passion for the future that the youth of Covenant House displayed during my time working with them. These kids didn’t do anything to deserve to be there. As a community, I hoped that if we could sleep outside, donate money or time, or simply recognize the importance of supporting the countless wonderful Covenant House staff members, that maybe we could make the city a better place. At RPIA, I am very proud to say that many of my colleagues have joined me over the years in participating in the Covenant House Sleep Outs. A number of them have volunteered with me in the sports program before the pandemic. As a firm, we have supported this organization over these past few years with financial resources and our time. I encourage others to participate in this truly impactful event, as it’s so much more than just sleeping on the street; it’s really an opportunity to get to know the frontline workers and the youth of Covenant House. The money and other resources we raise for this cause can change the lives of so many of Toronto’s vulnerable youth, helping them achieve the future they deserve.
Over the past few years, Brian Tinney, Sarah Pereira, Liam O’ Sullivan, Brendon Scott, Ray Cao, Ilias Lagopoulos, Lorne Creighton, Ozioma Nwankwo, and Sergio Ortiz-Orendain have participated in the Covenant House Sleep Out.
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