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Business No: 892902164RR0001

Satisfying hungry tummies. Teaching and mentoring in a Family culture. Nurturing at-risk, inner-city kids and vulnerable seniors!



Crystal Kids formed in 1992 has been doing integral work with at-risk youth, families and seniors for 30 years. Federally: We are a Registered Charity with Canada Revenue Agency since April 1993. Our Charitable Registration Number is 892902164RR0001. Provincially: We are a Non-Profit Society registered with and licensed in the Province of Alberta since December 1992. Our Corporate Access Number is 505492108. Our 

Crystal Kids Mandate, Vision, and Mission

Crystal Kids Mandate:

Crystal Kids serves Edmonton inner-city children who suffer the debilitating effects of situational or generational poverty. These include prolonged exposure to the traumas of malnutrition, broader food insecurity, transience and housing insecurity, the lack of safe spaces, family violence, mental illness and addictions, literacy deficits manifesting in the under-educated and the resulting underemployed. All the above muddied with social injustice, racism, discrimination, and marginalization.

Utilizing critical mentoring in a drop-in youth centre setting, mentors create and nurture authentic relationships with their mentees. Through this relational journey, mentees reflect and often dig deep to expose root causes of their innumerable difficulties. This is critical mentoring at its best. Crystal Kids provides relational care, child-centric programs, and significant supports that bolster competencies, build capacity, and increase executive functioning. With the goal of equipping youth with the necessary skills to identify their needs, self-regulate, self advocate, and to prevent the following: abuse and sexual exploitation, the reliance on street drugs and alcohol to cope, school dissociation, criminal activity, and justice challenges. At Crystal Kids, life-skill mentoring enmeshed with promoting literacy and academics, self-esteem, leadership, teamwork, culture, and creativity. We observe and youth report this composes and defines their journey to overall wellness.

Programs and Supports:

  • Nutritional Support
  • Critical Mentoring Program
  • Casework, Crisis Management, & Harm Reduction Supports
  • Literacy and Academic Supports
  • Fitness and Sports Leadership Programs
  • Artistic and Cultural Programs
  • Youth Transition to Adulthood Program

From its inception forward Crystal Kids has recognized the challenges and deficits children in Edmonton’s inner-city face while growing up in abject poverty. We seek to mitigate the risks and negative factors of life in the inner-city by providing supports and advocating for High School completion, job readiness, post- secondary or trades educational pursuits.

Crystal Kids provides all its programs and supports to any child who walks through our door with no requirement of commitment and at no cost to the child or their family. Our “come-as-you-as-you-are” philosophical welcome mat or MO translates into our non-judgmental, CK brand of relational care.

Crystal Kids is equity led. We are inclusive and a safe and welcoming space. We demonstrate intersectionality and we advance the social, emotional and executive functioning of youth.

With our arsenal of programs and significant supports, we liberate disadvantaged youth in their battle against poverty. We have come to be known in the community as a liberation force in the Edmonton inner city!

Crystal Kids Vision:

To liberate children and bring a permanent end to the devastating deficits of generational poverty on Edmonton’s inner-city children.

Crystal Kids Mission Statement:

To mentor, lead, and support Edmonton’s inner-city children in the pursuit of healthy life choices and life skills competencies by creating and nurturing authentic relationships, providing nutrition, literacy, critical mentoring, building capacity and by modelling and facilitating overall wellness.

Crystal Kids Programs and Supports

 Nutritional Support: The eminent need of each child upon arrival is food. Food insecurity is our “Closest to the door” intervention otherwise known as preventing the need for child intervention services. Identifying for our children, safety is defined by consistent nutrition. During the regular school year, we serve one meal and two snacks per day. During seasonal school closures Christmas, Spring and Summer breaks we extend our hours and serve two meals and three snacks per day.

Critical Mentoring Program: Our critical mentoring addresses the root causes of the myriad of issues that plague our youth. Staff base their child- centric and driven mentoring on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality as well as the lived experience of our youth. Challenging the pre-conceptions of deficit-based adult ignorance and historically created notions of communities. In child driven mentoring, we listen critically to our youth and employ critical thinking to our responses and actions based on their stories, their disclosures. This is an outside the textbook practice and is successful because of the authentic relationship and trust between youth and staff. Recognizing the strength in youth values even if they are counter intuitive to staff values is critical. Youth have developed those values based on their lived experience which is dissimilar to our own. Youth also have innate protective factors which translate into what may appear as risky behaviour, but it is their means of protecting themselves. Harm reduction comes into play in critical mentoring.

Literacy Interventions and Academic Supports

: Daily literacy interventions are intensive and innovative to incentivize children to attend and remain attached to school. Additional supports over and above literacy and numeracy activities include homework help and tutoring.

Casework, Crisis Management, & Harm Reduction Supports: To meet the needs of our youth we are engaged in casework that might be as simple as arranging for and transporting youth to well-being appointments and as complicated and layered as harm reduction practices with street-entrenched youth or intervening with male and female youth being trafficked. It is common for youth in survivor mode to use their bodies as currency for food, shelter, clothing, alcohol, tobacco, weed and harsher street drug. We help youth with wellness appointments such as AHS doctor’s appointments, mental health, and addictions appointments, STI screening, Pregnancy exams and resources. We support youth through their lived experiences such as LGBTQ advocacy and medical, legal appointments, and court support for justice matters, family court advocacy, banking, CRA filings, Alberta Works facilitation, obtaining provincial and federal ID, and employment readiness supports.

Crisis management is part of our case-work, and would include safety planning, housing facilitation for homeless youth, food, clothing, transit passes and tickets, access to mobile phones and minutes when safety plans require youth to be in possession of a way to communicate. A few of our youth are high-risk IV drug users or chronic Crystal Meth and/ or Fentanyl users. Our street-entrenched youth casework includes harm reduction principled supports.

Fitness and Sports Leadership Programs: meets many needs of our at-risk youth. Fitness programs have shown to positively affect many risk factors for at-risk youth, such as increased self-esteem, increased well-being, an increase in life skills like goal-setting and increased values development. As well to lower depression and anxiety. Fitness programs also have shown to reduce substance abuse and criminal activities.


Youth Transition to Adulthood Program: Our youth are ill-equipped to navigate adulthood at age 18 for a variety of reasons. Most common of which is lengthy exposure to childhood and adolescent trauma. Growing up with prolonged nutritional and nurturing deficits and in some cases abuse and neglect has impaired their emotional and executive functioning development. For Crystal Kids children to successfully proceed from childhood to adulthood and take advantage of the opportunities our country offers their emotional learning deficits need correction and their emotional literacy requires bolstering. Our program focuses on building capacity and enhancing executive function skills. We start working intentionally in this program with our children when they enter grade 7 and continues through High School culminating when the child has a full-time job or is successfully navigating post secondary school or trade school. Ages 12 years to 21 years in most cases. Intensive life skills which include but not limited to: pre employment skills enhancement, volunteerism, job readiness including resume building, job interview skills, mock interviews. Lifestyle skills such as hygiene and personal care, budgeting, banking, paying bills, grocery shopping, housecleaning, laundry, and cooking. Leadership and junior mentoring s included in this program giving older youth the opportunity to develop inter-personal skills. Facilitating youth searching, engaging, and enrolling in community and government sponsored job readiness and training programs and supporting them as case manager or key contact for the duration of their external programs.

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8718 118 AVE


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