YRAP’s Youth Cell Phone Project

The Cause

The Youth Restorative Action Project (YRAP) was created as a youth-run restorative justice committee. Due to difficulties maintaining contact with some of our youth who experience significant social barriers, and a concern for their safety, YRAP saw a need, and the Cell Phone Project was born. These youth are often impoverished and/or transient, causing communication for the purposes of successfully completing YRAP’s program nearly impossible. Additionally, these youth can sometimes find themselves in dangerous situations with no way to call for help. YRAP gives these youth used cell phones which are set up with month-to-month plans for the purposes of communication and safety.
Although we receive donations of used cell phones from the community, not all of the devices last or are useable for the time that the youth needs it. Our program is looking to purchase some newer more reliable devices for the youth that we serve.

Who Will it Benefit?

YRAP is a Youth Justice Committee founded and run by Edmonton youth. YRAP is mandated to work with young people who have caused harm while being affected by a variety of significant social issues such as intolerance, racism, substance abuse, homelessness, family violence and prostitution. YRAP offers those who have caused harm an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and to grow positively, and offers victims a meaningful role in the process.

The young people who directly benefit from the Cell Phone Project are typically experiencing significant social challenges such as homelessness and substance dependency. These youth are typically between the ages of 12 and 24. In previous years when we have had the resources to offer the Cell Phone Project, approximately ten to twenty youth were supported by this program over the course of a year. These youth benefit in terms of having increased access to their supports (including family and social workers), more opportunities to find employment, and options for help if they are in crisis.

More broadly, the families, community workers, and professional supports of these youth benefit from having increased contact and knowledge about the well-being of these young people. Even more broadly, by offering increased support to young people facing various challenges, these young people will have improved opportunities to live fulfilling lives and engage more fully in their communities.