We’ve all had those troubling reminders on the streets that homelessness remains an issue in our communities. But did you know that young people are increasingly joining the number of Canadians with no place to call home?
In the 2016 Vancouver Homeless Count, 15% of those surveyed were under 25. The Metro Vancouver Homeless Count showed that youth and children were 20% of the homeless population in 2014. The Victoria Foundation’s Youth Vital Signs study has also consistently found lack of youth housing to be one of the biggest barriers facing young people.
How we’re helping.
That’s why on October 26, we announced a $380,000 contribution to the Threshold Housing Society in Oak Bay, as part of our Youth Get It Community Investment Program to address youth homelessness. Together with Threshold Housing Society, we’ll help create a transition home for approximately 30 youth vulnerable to homelessness.
In addition to a roof over their heads, young people in Threshold’s transition home will learn life and independent living skills.
“Our investment will enable youth transitioning through the home to regain financial control of their lives, preventing them from being drawn back into the cycle of economic despair and homelessness,” Coast Capital president and CEO Don Coulter said at an event announcing the new partnership. “It will help them build a sense of belonging and connection that will strengthen their resilience as they work to create a richer future.”
Building a richer future for youth.
The Threshold Housing Society partnership builds on our ongoing commitment to help youth at risk of homelessness gain access to housing and build their independent living skills. For example, we have invested in the work of Streettohome Foundation and Covenant House in Vancouver. On Vancouver Island, we’ve supported the Ready to Rent program and the Burnside Gorge Community Association’s Youth Self Sufficiency program, just to name a few.
Why it’s so important to help youth.
We need to fight youth homelessness because it blocks the promise and potential of the young men and women who represent our future. Youth homelessness may actually be more serious than the numbers show because young people are usually part of the “invisible homeless.” They may not sleep out on the streets or at shelters, turning instead to “couch surfing” and the use of highly unstable temporary accommodation wherever they can find it.
Young people vulnerable to homelessness may have a history of family instability, rejection, and trauma. They can overcome these challenges and achieve financial wellbeing if they are provided with a caring short-term home and equipped to face personal challenges. We can help them build the richer future that they wish for and deserve.
Want to get involved?
If you’d like to be learn more or make a financial contribution, below are links to organizations that are working to end youth homelessness, or helping young people gain independent living skills.