Number of Jobs Created
Number of People Educated
Lbs. of Wood Waste Diverted
In Newfoundland and Labrador, youth unemployment rates are as high as 17.5%, which is 7% higher than the national average in Canada. Through a long standing partnership with a local organization in St. John’s, Choices for Youth, Enactus Memorial was able to create a project that is able to tackle a massive problem in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada, while giving at-risk youth meaningful employment. In Newfoundland, there is no provincial wood recycling program, resulting in nearly 20,000 tonnes of wood ending up in landfills annually. Combining this with another need, the lack of affordable furniture available to vulnerable populations of Newfoundland, Project Reclaim was created.
Project Reclaim works in a cycle: at-risk youth are employed to build high-end household items, the first main product being the salt-box house candle holder. In addition to employment, at-risk youth are provided with education and learn vital skills to gain employment beyond Project Reclaim. The candle holders are then sold to the general public; proceeds are then put towards the creation of furniture made from upcycled wood diverted from landfills and donated to Home Again, a local furniture bank focused on provided furniture to low-income families that can otherwise not afford it.
Project Reclaim only started in early 2019 but has already seen tremendous impact. To date, Project Reclaim has created 4 jobs for at-risk youth, educated over 4,300 people in Newfoundland about the effects of furniture poverty ending the stigma of homelessness, and diverted over 1,900 lbs. of wood waste from landfills.