Check it out: Eva’s wants homelessness to get noticed

An "Unwelcome Mat" aims to serve as a wake up call about youth at risk.

A recent stunt by Eva’s Initiatives aimed to inform Toronto residents just how many youth sleep on the city’s streets – whether people pay attention to them or not.

Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth is a non-profit focused on ending youth homelessness in Toronto. An average of 2,000 young people sleep on the street every night in the city. In addition to providing shelter services, the organization’s programs are meant to help them permanently transition out of homelessness.

Working with agency Elemental, Eva’s put “Unwelcome Mats” in various locations around town featuring stats about how many youth in Toronto don’t have homes. Despite being in places where one wouldn’t normally expect to see a welcome mat, most people walked past it without giving it a second glance.

Now, the non-profit and agency have released a video of the stunt to show how, despite how easy it might be for the public to ignore the issue of homelessness, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The “Unwelcome Mat” stunt also follows a more traditional PSA the non-profit launched last month tackling “hidden homelessness.” The issue is an important one for the organization, as less visible homeless populations (such as youths) often have a hard time accessing services and support that might help them permanently change their situation.