Quotes from Participants in 2019

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A Letter from Marilyn Dyck

2019 has been a powerful and impactful year for our Doorway community. We have witnessed young people wrestling with a myriad of issues, including addiction. We have listened to others who are finding work, going back to school, starting families and proudly attending parenting classes.

Young people remain engaged in life and have a real spirit of hope!
We are inspired. As you view our 2019 Annual Update, please know that everything we have done is also because of your support and belief in young people.

This is our job as community. Our young people need us to ground and lead the way to meaning and purpose for building their lives forward. Since the start of The Doorway community in 1988, we have supported young people in learning who they are, in understanding that autonomy delivers freedom and the responsibility to bring one’s best self to their life.

There are not enough words for what I personally have learned in more than 30 years of daily conversations with young people. The honor of their trust is priceless. In 2020 I will transition my role to Research and Advocacy and continue our shared vision as I work with research advisors and community members to explore 30 years of participant writing. The voices of 1000 young people will retell how they experienced our society over the years, and we will understand even more deeply that nothing much has changed for young people! AND together we can change that!

This past year Aron Hill, a Calgary artist, lead our first opportunity to publish: Living Documents I, our first journal of ‘youth voice’. Living Documents 2 will be launched on November 7 at the Humainologie Gallery, Calgary. We hope you will join us.

The Doorway board has begun seeking a new leader to support the community of people who are The Doorway. Our new leader will be chosen for their embrace of our vision, beliefs and practice, diligently protected and honed over three decades of listening to young people!

Thank you for your continuing belief and support!

Marilyn Dyck, Executive Director

Thank You to Our Donors

 Armstrong Land Corp. 763984 Alberta Ltd. Al Azhar Shriners (Clown) Society. Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation. Bearspaw Benevolent Foundation. C.U.P.E Local 709. Calgary Shaw Char­ity Classic Foundation. Children’s Hospital Aid Society. GAM Technical Services Inc. Gatzsch Family Foundation. Glasswaters Foundation. Glendale Women’s Institute. Greene Family Char­itable Foundation. Higher Landing Inc. Junk in the Trunk Inc. Maunders McNeil Foundation Inc. Melton Foundation. Nelson Arthur Hyland Foundation Anonymous. Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation. Prosser Charitable Foundation. QV Investors Inc. Rapid-Span. Rheaume Engineer­ing Inc. Salden Foundation. St. Luke’s Church. Tuscan Benevo­lent Society.

Message From the Chair

The Doorway exists to ‘Make Change Possible’ and 2019 has been a year of compelling change for our youth. Another change on the horizon is Marilyn Dyck’s retirement from the role of Executive Director after 33 years. As a community we are indebted to Marilyn for ensuring young people have had a place to go when faced with the realities of living in street culture. As directors of this society we are entrusted as caretakers of Marilyn’s legacy and vision for the future.

We are accountable to you in ensuring The Doorway’s process continues to thrive. But we are most accountable to young people who are The Doorway. Marilyn’s leadership has been defined by perseverance and grace. Her belief in people has never wavered. She has built the place where we come together as community to raise up our most vulnerable youth. In the spirit of celebration and our deepest appreciation, we thank you Marilyn, and we thank you, our community, for your support.


Andrew Hunter

Thank You to Our Board of Directors

Marilyn Dyck, The Doorway Executive Director
Eric Dahl, Dahlars Inc.
Jim Empey, The Bodtker Group of Companies
Andrew Hunter, Calgary Board of Education
John Leduc, Entrepreneur
Brent Olynyk, Lead 2 Perform
Eeva White, STEM Learning Lab Inc.

Annual General Meeting

Please Join us on:
Friday Nov 22 6:30 – 8:30 pm at The Doorway.

Annual General Meeting Agenda:
– Annual Recap
– Board of Directors Vote
– Discussion and Q&A regarding our Executive Director Transition Plan. Please bring your questions prepared, we look forward to answering all of them.

Please note this date originally was held for Marilyn Dyck’s Legacy Celebration however due to high demand for venues at the Central Library her Celebration has been moved to Nov.16.

Try By: A Graduate

It has been nearly 3 years since I first walked through their doors. When I first arrived, I was struggling. About 4 years, I was living on the street, doing drugs, and slowly losing a grip on my connection with my family and friends. I also was in a bad state, mentally speaking.

One of the first things Marilyn and I talked about was the possibility of going to college. I didn’t think it was possible, given I only had a grade 10/11 education….from 6 years ago. She challenged me to apply myself.  

So I did. At random, I went into a college, none in particular, and I asked some questions about what it would take to get in. As it would happen, they were hosting their entrance exams at no cost. For free. All I had to do was my best. To just try. I got 87%, I could hardly believe it, but I did! Play the tape forward an hour, I was in. All because I tried, and applied myself.  

The following year was life changing. I maintained an average of 90%, completely sober, made amazing friends, and began to get job opportunities…life was slowly coming together.  

Just before my graduation at The Doorway, I took a hit; I lost my job. I was becoming scared that everything I had worked so hard for was beginning to disappear, and it was.  I had to move out, I had no job again and I was couch surfing again. The Doorway reminded me that all challenges are overcome by establishing goals, setting steps, and reflection on the progress made. And that all I needed to do was try.  So I did.  

Two weeks  from now, I will have been working with the same company for one year. I also have been promoted to the management team. Alongside that, I am living comfortably in MY OWN apartment, and life is full of new and exciting challenges it is hard to believe who I was 3 years ago, compared to who I am now. I may not be a millionaire, but I know what success feels like, and am thankful for all the obstacles that got in the way. All of this, I owe to the amazing supports I met along the way, especially the wonderful women at the Doorway, who guided me down the path I am on. 

-Graduate, 2019

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