by Victoria Robertson, Program Manager, Connect Youth Inc.
Leeds and Grenville- Connect Youth Inc., The Employment + Education Centre (EEC), and RNJ Youth Services have launched a program to address the issue of youth homelessness in Leeds and Grenville.
More than 1/3 of young people who experience homelessness in Canada are from Ontario, and most homeless individuals don’t live on the street. More than 80% of Canada’s homeless are improperly housed or on the verge of eviction. Many are sleeping in temporary beds – with friends or relatives, in church basements, in motels, in abandoned buildings and vehicles, and in other sites away from the public eye.
Reaching Home, for youth ages 15-25 experiencing homelessness in Leeds and Grenville, will provide youth in our community with the support and guidance needed to make real and lasting change in their lives. This program gives participants comprehensive wrap-around support that includes life and employability skills. While in the program, the youth will reside in a furnished apartment for up to 42 days and work with Connect Youth, RNJ Youth Services, and the Employment and Education Centre to find more sustainable housing options, develop life skills, understand and connect with community resources, and connect to employment opportunities and/or education.
“Our organisations all work to facilitate long term change in the lives of young community members. Reaching Home is a collaboration that will shed light on the very real challenges our local youth face, and address these issues with practical, wrap-around services.” said Susan Watts, Executive Director, The Employment + Education Centre.
If you or someone you know is a good candidate for Reaching Home -contact Brittany Matthie, Housing Case Manager at Connect Youth at 613-246-2092.