Housing & After-Care Program
“Before I came here I was unable to find myself a home. The programs they had were very helpful, they taught me life skills such as budgeting. They even donated furniture to get me started. Even after I left I am still able to come back and receive food and personal care packages.”
-Jason, age 17
The Youth Without Shelter Housing Program operates from a Housing First approach focusing on placing youth in permanent, affordable housing while addressing the obstacles faced by homeless youth that interfere with the achievement of independent and stable living conditions. Housing workers liaise with landlords and assist in housing searches and placements.
Education is provided to equip youth with the skills needed to acquire and maintain independent housing. Workshop topics include: eviction prevention, living with roommates, tenant rights, Ontario Works welfare process, how to apartment search, experience of living on your own, budgeting, cooking, personal hygiene and laundry, nutrition and meal planning on a budget.
Once housing is obtained, necessary referrals for furniture and household goods are provided. To ensure ongoing stability, the YWS After-Care Program offers support to former residents with laundry facilities, food bank access, housing counselling as needed, as well as a bi-weekly social program. Demand for after-care services has been more than doubling year over year. Recognizing that youth require age distinctive supports and services to maintain their housing. In March 2017 YWS comprehensively expanded our After-Care Program beyond the on-site supports to encompass ongoing outreach to youth living independently. This enhanced outreach with the addition of a full-time Housing & After-Care Specialist allows for regular check-ins with youth in their housing neighborhoods, introducing youth to resources both in their community and through YWS.
Contact the Housing & After-Care Program: 416.748.0110 ext. 27
The Housing & After-Care Program Coordinator shares her thoughts:
“Over the years YWS has worked vigorously to help youth find and maintain stable housing. On average each year YWS is successful in helping 70 to 100 youth move off the streets and transition into independent living. However, due to lack of maturity and social isolation homeless youth are often challenged with retaining their housing. In working towards a “Housing First” model; YWS has expanded our housing services with a full-time Housing and After-Care support worker. This will help YWS support an additional 60% of former residents with appointments offsite in their homes and neighbourhoods to ascertain their status and offer services. This adds a vital component to help end the cycle of homelessness.”
By the numbers:
Youth moved to permanent housing:
Youth returning for Supper Club:
2017-18: 1104 * now reflects after-care meetings and supports shared
2018-19: 943 * now reflects after-care meetings and supports shared
Food and hygiene packages provided:
2017-18: 72* now reflects On The Move getting started packages distributed