Calgarians rally around vulnerable youth ahead of Neighbour Day
A fundraising concert to help vulnerable youth living at Raido House was held on Friday in the community of Ramsay.
Raido House is a facility run by Calgary’s John Howard Society which is aimed at providing support and affordable housing to teenagers.
The concert was organized by Caleb Delamont, a local pastor and musician who was looking for a way to give back to the community ahead of Calgary’s Neighbor Day on July 15th.
While looking for groups to donate to, Delamont discovered Raido House was just across the street and reached out.
“What if these young teenagers had a really good experience of a tight neighbourhood dynamic?” said Delamont. “To know that every house that they walked up to, every door that they knocked on was a safe and welcoming home.”
After discussing the concert with leaders from Raido House, Delamont was told that Nicholas Leaf — one of Raido’s residents — was a musician.
The 17-year-old said he started writing music to deal with his depression and credits his time at Raido with saving his life.
“In all honesty, I think I would be at the homeless shelter and not having a plan of what to do,” said Leaf. “I feel like Raido House has made me a lot happier with who I am.”
Delamont and Leaf met less than a week before the concert but after hearing some sample tracks, Delamont knew Leaf would have to be part of the show.
“When I realized there is a musician living at Raido, I just thought I got to get to know this guy,” Delamont said.
Friday’s concert was the first time the teen had ever performed in public, singing three original songs, complete with keyboard backup tracks he recorded and produced himself.
Delamont said he hopes Leaf continues on with his musical career.
“He is full of talent and full of potential,” said Delamont.