HistoryResource Assistance for Youth, Inc.
Operation Go Home (OGH) was founded in Ottawa in 1971 by Reverend Norman Johnston. The primary focus was to return runaways to their families. OGH became a national organization, represented in five provinces across Canada with all agencies having the same primary focus.
In 1994, OGH Winnipeg opened with one paid staff and two volunteers that performed outreach. Between 1994 and 2003 due to a changing society, the continued rise of poverty in Manitoba, and an increase in the number of youth in crisis, OGH Winnipeg programs evolved and expanded to meet the varying needs of youth in Winnipeg. As the programs expanded, so did the staff.
The original mission of OGH Winnipeg was to help street kids return home. Today, it is generally understood that “home” is not always a safe option. As a result, OGH Winnipeg advanced into a multi-dimensional youth support organization—evolving from an organization that merely reacts to youth in crisis to becoming a proactive provider of prevention, intervention, outreach and support services.
In July 2003, OGH Winnipeg merged with a partnering street youth service agency (Powerhouse Winnipeg Inc.) in order to strengthen both organizations. The results of this merger gave birth to Resource Assistance for Youth Inc. (RaY). The updated mission statement for the re-branded agency is “to provide youth with what they need, on their terms, to better their lives.” Reverend Norman Johnston’s original vision of supporting youth find a way back from the street continues to be the focus at RaY, albeit in an ever expanding and more comprehensive incarnation.
On June 15, 2010, RaY officially opened the doors of its newly renovated space at 125 Sherbrook Street, an 8,000 square foot site that is better suited to the needs of the agency and the youth who access its services. Today, RaY provides a continuum of services and continues to expand and evolve its programming to provide youth with what they need, on their terms, to better their lives.