Skid Row CEO

Supporters and RCMP officers, who see first-hand the devastated lives of homeless kids, greeted Joe Roberts and The Push For Change. “I walked through Northern Ontario in the dead of winter,” he laughs. “We could have planned that a bit better.”

Many years ago, Joe Roberts was an 18-year-old heroin addict living under a bridge in Vancouver. Raised in a small town, a series of tragic events and a number of wrong choices brought him to that spot. Finally one day, he walked into the Salvation Army and asked for help.

He seized the opportunity to not only return to school but to graduate from college. He then went on to create a company and, before the age of 35, he was a multi-millionaire. In 2003, was listed on Maclean’s Honour Roll.

He decided to give back. Five years in the planning, Joe undertook another big challenge—to walk across Canada pushing a shopping cart as a symbol of homelessness, all to end youth homelessness.

“You don’t see homeless youth in small towns,” says Roberts. “They end up in cities like Saskatoon, Calgary or Vancouver.”

On May 1, 2016, Roberts, known as the “Skid Row CEO,” began walking 24 km a day starting in
St. John’s, Nfld., and 517 days later on Sep. 30, 2017, his walk will end in Vancouver, B.C. He will have walked, pushing a shopping cart, over 9,000 km through 10 provinces with visits to our three territories.

His epic journey is nearly complete, and the changes already brought about to end youth
homelessness are astounding. For more, visit thepushforchange.com.

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