CJAM's Strummer tribute raises $700 for youth homeless centre

It may not sound like a princely sum to most, but $700 goes a long way at the Windsor Youth Centre.

That's how much CJAM volunteers and staffers raised last December 22 when they held their annual Joe Strummer Day—held on the anniversary of the death of the former front man of the punk band the Clash—to raise funds and awareness about poverty and homelessness issues in the university campus radio station's listening area of Windsor and Detroit.

Most of the station's programming was devoted to highlighting poverty issues on Joe Strummer Day and this year, Toronto artist Nina Bunjevac designed commemorative t-shirts that were sold to raise funds for the Windsor Youth Centre, a local drop-in centre for homeless youths.

CJAM station manager Vern Smith said he had requests for t-shirts from as far away as St. Louis and Winnipeg, and yesterday, he handed over a cheque for $700 to centre co-founders Tamara Kowalska and George Bozanich.

Kowalska said the money will go a long way, given that their rent for the centre's Wyandotte Street East location is about $700 a month, and that thanks to other food donations, they can prepare healthy meals for their clients for about a dollar each.

"That's 700 meals for a population severaly at risk who otherwise might not have eaten a meal at all that day," she said. "So this is a very significant amount."