Who We Are

About YWS

WE ARE GUIDED BY THE YOUNG PEOPLE WE SERVE

Photo of Youth Without Shelter facility. The front steps read "The race is not for the swift but those who endure to the end! The future is in your hands!"

VISION

Ending homelessness…
one youth at a time,
one step at a time.

OUR MISSION

Empowering youth facing
homelessness to reach
individual potential.

Everyone has the right to a future that is not dictated by their past.

HISTORY

In 1986, a group of teachers and guidance counsellors saw the lack of safe, emergency housing and support programs for their students in need, and decided to join together to create Youth Without Shelter. Since that time YWS has helped thousands of youth experiencing homelessness to build their confidence and life-skills and to find long-term stable housing and jobs. 

Located in the community of North Etobicoke (west end of Toronto), we provide a safe refuge for youth ages 16 to 24 who – often through circumstances beyond their control – have found themselves without a home to call their own. Many are homeless before the age of 16, and some are victims of abuse or abandonment, or simply have no family at all.

WHY WE ARE DIFFERENT

Since our founding over 30 years ago, YWS has developed a model of care that identifies and builds on our clients’ strengths and resiliency. We do this by providing them with opportunities to develop their confidence and key skills they’ll need to navigate life and overcome challenges. We don’t just provide a warm bed for a night; we offer practical advice and guidance from trained staff, wrap-around support programs, and a safe, comfortable home. Our goal is to move young people out of homelessness, towards independent, stable living.

We have become known as a house where a youth’s culture and needs are understood, and where each youth can receive individual-needs based support, practical guidance, and training through a wrap-around model of programming. All operations are trauma-informed and designed to be youth-centric, build self-esteem and resiliency, and focus on personal strengths. 

EMERGENCY RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM

EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM

HOUSING & AFTER-CARE PROGRAM

STAY IN SCHOOL PROGRAM

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAM

STRATEGIC APPROACH: STRENGTH-­BASED (RESILIENCE) MODEL OF CARE

Building upon a solid base of programs and services the strategic approach at YWS is to ensure that every youth has the support and encouragement to develop to their individual potential. All programs and operations are designed and conducted in a manner that is youth centric, and we believe that our Strength-based (Resilience) Model of Care is the foundation to the best possible successful future for the young people in our care.

Youth who come to YWS arrive with the label of “homeless” with all the negative connotations that come along with it, consequently self-esteem and confidence is low. The Strength-based (Resilience) Model of Care focuses on young people’s strengths: building a safe community within our walls where talking, listening and sharing are productive; and giving youth the opportunities to develop the integral skills and confidence to navigate the world and overcome their challenges. Click here to hear about Youth Without Shelter’s approach to building resiliency in each youth.

TRAUMA INFORMED CARE

Youth Without Shelter provides trauma informed care as a core principle of operations. For service providers to become effective with individuals in their care, there has to be ‘needs based’ planning, not only at a client level but at a program and system level also. The majority of the youth YWS serves have had to deal with overwhelming personal experiences that may have changed their perception about life. Our goal is to have a support system that will empower young people to succeed, and help them transition from a post-traumatic state to post-traumatic growth.

2019 – ­2024 YWS STRATEGIC PLAN

On Wednesday, June 5, 2019 we launched our new ‘500 in 5’ Strategic Plan 2019-2024.

This five-year strategic plan defines both our intended impact and theory of change, as well as a new mission and guiding principles. It is an exciting and ambitious plan that balances the need to grow with the needs of our youth clients. It is optimistic and innovative – truly reflecting the spirit of the organization and all those involved in it.

OUR GOAL: Between 2019-2024, 500 youth impacted by YWS will exit out of homelessness to stable living.

YWS Strategic Plan 2019-2024

2019/2020 ANNUAL REPORT

Our 2019/2020 Annual Report is now available! To request a digital copy of our 2019-­20 Annual Report please contact communications@yws.on.ca

Please click the image below to view the report.

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2019-2020
Annual Report
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2018-2019
Annual Report
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2017-2018
Annual Report
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2016-2017
Annual Report
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2015-2016
Annual Report
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2014-2015
Annual Report

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