How We Help

Emergency Residential Program

Since our grassroots origin in 1986 Youth Without Shelter (YWS) has helped more than 16,000 vulnerable youth (aged 16 – 24) to build their confidence and life-skills and to find long-term stable housing and jobs. The Youth Without Shelter (YWS) Residential Program offers emergency accommodation for up to 33 youth each night. The program meets the immediate needs of the youth by providing them with crisis counselling, safe shelter, nutritious food, new clothing, and hygiene products.

We are a house where a youth’s culture and needs are understood, and where each youth can receive practical support, guidance, mental health and wellness support, and training through a wrap-around model of programs. All operations are trauma-informed and designed to be youth-centric, build self-esteem and resiliency, and focus on personal strengths.

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THE NEED

There are an estimated 2,000 youth facing homelessness each night with less than 400 beds to meet the need

THE SUPPORT

Almost 100,000 secure bed nights have been provided through YWS with half a million meals/ snacks and more than 30,000 one-on-one case management counselling sessions (1986-2019)

%

of homeless youth have experienced multiple episodes of homelessness

%

of youth have reported violent victimization including sexual assault, and 63% reported childhood trauma and abuse as key factors leading to homelessness

%

share that they have declining mental health with significant symptoms of distress and over 40% have attempted suicide

I turned to YWS when I was only 16 years old. I walked into the house, crying, feeling my life was over and I had nobody to turn to. I felt more welcomed into this shelter than I have felt anywhere else. They helped me believe in myself and they helped me realize that I can do whatever I want to in life as long as I put my mind to it.

Melissa, age 18

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