Since 2004, Hollyburn Family Services Society has been tackling issues like youth homelessness, moving youth from at-risk to resilient members of our community, supporting children and adults who have experienced violence and providing education, resources and support to parents and caregivers ensuring the development of happy and healthy families.
Today, youth in care face numerous challenges as they prepare to transition from care. Many have experienced some level of trauma and may not have the adult relationships they require for a supported transition. Mental health issues, housing affordability and a lack of transitional plans add to their vulnerability. For youth leaving care there are expectations to transition before they have the skills they require to be successful.
Supporting youth in transition
The Hollyburn Family Services Society has the view that every youth has the capacity to utilize their unique abilities to enrich their lives. Our success has been a direct result of our continuum of services, designed to provide youth transitioning from care with all of the resources and services they require to be successful.
Here are a few of Hollyburn’s approaches:
North Shore Youth Safe House. More than an emergency short-term shelter, the Safe House acts as a conduit between the youth and the much-needed services they require to break the cycle of homelessness.
Youth In Transition program. Helps youth acquire skills they require to live independently by offering intensive life skill training while providing transitional housing.
Collaborative Partnerships - with our community allies. Relationships in the community are critical and play a significant role in the success rate of youth transitioning from care.
Hollyburn Hockey Hero program. Designed to keep youth in school by offering a chance to play weekly hockey for those unable to due to social or financial barriers.
Despite our efforts, we can do better. The solution lies in partnerships between government, private philanthropy and community-based organizations with track records and knowledge of the issues and causes of homelessness. There is increasing evidence that investing in the right programs can shift the youth homelessness epidemic, thus reducing the emergency services, associated health care and criminal justice costs.
Despite our efforts, we can do better.
By facilitating conversations between government, community-based service provider and funders, we have the capacity to develop long-term solutions. These solutions involve providing education and employment training and opportunities, access to secure housing, developing essential life and social skills and facilitating healthy relationships with adults and mentors.
- Words by Paul Butler, Hollyburn Family Services Society