Dagma Koyi (Founder)
Dagma Koyi has over ten years of experience working with at risk youth. She is a professional
with a Bachelor degree in Social Work and a Certificate of Training in Crisis Intervention and
Clinical Traumatology. Dagma is also in the process of completing a Master’s degree in
Counselling with a specialization in Family Therapy. Dagma has both front line and supervisory
experience in the not-for- profit sector. Dagma’s passion and drive for the homeless population
has driven her to birth REST Centre
Charmaine Lane, MS.c., Psych (Co-Founder)
Charmaine is a trained psychotherapist and has worked in various capacities within the area of
counselling. She has a wealth of experience in the areas of assessment and testing, individual and
group counseling, vocation and life skill training, addiction and mental health, trauma (e.g.
sexual and physical abuse. Charmaine has successfully worked to reunite families that are
involved in the child protective sector. She works from an anti-racism, anti-oppressive
Nick Beckett (Director of Youth Outreach)
Nick is currently in the process of completing his B.A. hons, at The Centre of Criminology,
University of Toronto. Once a homeless youth himself, he overcame all odds, and now lives to
instill hope in others. Besides studying, Nick works for a busy criminal defence firm, and is
actively engaged in the community as a mentor and speaker. Nick plans on attending
law school in the fall, we are very excited for him.
Ben Bempah, PhD (Board of Director)
Ben is a public administration expert with over ten-years of professional experience in
undertaking public policy analysis, project management, proposal writing, economic
development, and quality assurance in both government and private sectors. Proficient in
statistical modeling, narrative reports writing, experienced in and capable of leading and
directing the development, interpretation and implementation of government-wide policy
legislations and regulations.
Through R.E.S.T., homeless youth in our community are learning how to "REST"!
DID YOU KNOW?
Almost one-third of Canada’s homeless population is 16-24 years old.
In Toronto, estimates range from 900 to 2,000 nightly — far more than can be accommodated by the 489 beds in youth shelters.
43% of youth experiencing homelessness were in foster care or group homes.
Research indicates that foster youth tend to fare poorly in a number of domains in the transition to adulthood, and the shift to independent living may be particularly challenging.
Youth with experience in the
criminal justice system: Access to stable housing can be a key factor in success. Adequate housing and outside supports (employment, financial help) are too often unavailable.
Indigenous youth: History of colonization and cultural discrimination. Indigenous youth are overrepresented in homeless populations.
A majority of homeless youth face mental health challenges. This adds additional risks and obstacles to an already difficult experience.
Newcomer youth: Cultural isolation, language barriers, employment setbacks, family tension and stress –newcomer youth face a number of hurdles.
Youth fleeing violence and abuse in their households: Abuse in the home has pushed 61% of young females onto the streets.