WE ARE GUIDED BY THE YOUNG PEOPLE WE SERVE
one youth at a time,
one step at a time.
Empowering youth facing
homelessness to reach
Everyone has the right to a future that is not dictated by their past.
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
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.
YWS STRATEGIC PLAN MIDTERM REVIEW
In 2019 we developed a Strategic Plan, “500 in 5”, that aimed to assist youth impacted by YWS to safely exit homelessness to stable living. Shortly after our strategic plan was in place, the COVID-19 pandemic reached Canada. The next 2 years were challenging for everyone around the world. Here at home, YWS needed to adapt quickly to support our youth and to provide the wrap-around care that they so desperately needed. We are very proud to say that throughout the pandemic, our staff, board, donors, and volunteers all rose to the challenge to assist us in continuing to not only provide a roof over our youths’ heads, but to provide wrap-around supports and services to those in need.
Within our 2019 Strategic Plan, we vowed to be adaptive and agile, to be innovative and take calculated risks, to be open to change, and to work in partnership when necessary to obtain best outcomes. We are very proud of the goals we have been able to achieve in such a short period of time, during a global pandemic, and we are excited to move forward with new initiatives to better support the youth we serve.
500 in 5 Video
2021-2022 ANNUAL REPORT
Our 2021/2022 Annual Report is now available! To request a digital copy of our 2021/2022 Annual Report please contact email@example.com
Please click the image below to view the report.