Walters Group Lends a Hand to Former Homeless Youth Joe Roberts

Giving back to the local community has always been integral to the Ironworkers of Canada. One of the leading contractors for the Ironworkers, Walters Group, happens to share the same mission.

Walters Group — one of Canada’s largest structural steel companies — has a dedicated “Community Support Team” focused on raising awareness of community needs and raising funds. The team has recently given its support to The Push for Change, a campaign aiming to empower youth and raise awareness to help end youth homelessness. It’s a mission with a unique strategy; The Push for Change’s founder, Joe Roberts, will be pushing a shopping cart from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver, British Columbia over the course of 517 days.

Joe is a former homeless youth himself. In the late 1980s, he was living under a bridge; 30 years later, he’s the former CEO of a successful multimedia company, an inspirational speaker and an author. He came up with the idea for The Push for Change with Dr. Sean Richardson — a performance psychologist now tasked with helping Joe prepare both mentally and physically for the trek — as a way to engage Canadians in his personal mission to see an end to youth homelessness.

The 9,000-kilometre journey will commence in St. John’s on May 1, 2016 and end in Vancouver on September 30, 2017, making more than 400 stops at community and school events along the way. Joe will be pushing a custom-designed shopping cart, as a symbolic representation of homelessness in North America.

The Push for Change is one of several charitable activities that Walters Group supports in communities where it has offices and plants. One of the main focuses for the 60-year-old company is City Kidz of Hamilton, an organization that seeks to increase resiliency and inspire big dreams for children living in low-income communities. Walters Group hosts bake sales, donation drives and BBQs to raise funds for City Kidz.

As a longtime friend and collaborator, the Ironworkers of Canada are proud of Walters Group’s commitment to community.