Eva’s Initiatives

Our Mission

The mission of Eva’s Initiatives is to work collaboratively with homeless and at-risk youth to help them reach their potential to lead productive, self-sufficient and healthy lives by providing safe shelter and a range of services, and to create long term solutions for homeless youth by developing and implementing proactive and progressive services.

Our History

Eva’s Place first opened its doors in 1994 and in 10 short years we expanded from one to three shelters – with the addition of Eva’s Satellite and Eva’s Phoenix – each offering an innovative combination of programs and services for homeless and at-risk youth.

Since our first day of operation, Eva’s Initiatives has helped over 19,000 youth from the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. Every year, approximately 2300 youth receive help with such diverse issues as substance abuse, finding a job, finishing school, learning life skills, receiving career training, sex education, exploring recreational opportunities and family re-connection.

Inspired by the legacy of Eva Smith, Eva’s Initiatives strives to keep her vision alive by providing a supportive, diverse and safe environment for the youth we serve.

National Initiatives Program

The National Initiatives Program (NIP) was created because of the great national interest in our integrated service delivery model, Eva’s Phoenix, a transitional housing and employment training facility for 50 youth which opened in 2000.

The NIP is based on a collaborative approach emphasizing partnership. It is a unique and effective model for sharing promising practices and has been a catalyst for the development of new integrated models and programs for homeless youth in communities across the country.

Our Eva’s Awards for Ending Youth Homelessness puts the spotlight on what works in terms of preventing and ending the homelessness that youth experience. This focus challenges us all to think beyond the emergency needs of vulnerable youth. The goal of ending homelessness means equipping youth in multiple domains of their life to achieve greater and longer lasting stability.

Eva’s Initiatives convenes the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness. The Learning Community is a pan-Canadian network of leading youth serving organizations across the country who work collaboratively on key issues, share promising practices and develop strategies and tools to strengthen our sector and more effectively address issues pertaining to youth homelessness in Canada. For information on becoming a General Member of the Learning Community, please click here.

The third component of the National Initiatives Program is the Mobilizing Local Capacity Program. The MLC program is an innovative approach to ending youth homelessness because it builds on local community strengths and connects them to national and international change makers to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness. The Mobilizing Local Capacity program is an exciting partnership between The National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness (LC), Eva’s Initiatives and the Canadian Housing Renewal Association (CHRA), with generous funding from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. MLC communities plan, implement and evaluate community-wide strategies designed to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness.

The National Initiatives Program also provides support and advice to organizations and community. We do this through sharing program materials, participating in national conferences, and hosting tours for policy makers, services and community partners. We have also developed accessible resources and tools, including:

  • Phoenix Toolkit — modelled on our transitional housing and employment program
  • Reconnect Toolkit – based on our Family Reconnect Program and focuses on prevention
  • YARD Toolkit – based on our Youth Action to Reduce Drug Use program
  • eBulletins – we develop and share three eBulletins a year
  • National Map of organizations working to end youth homeless

Direct support from the NIP has seen additional units of transitional and supportive housing created for homeless and at risk in Vancouver, Hamilton, Mississauga, and St. John’s.

Contact Us

For more information on the National Initiatives Program, please contact:

Melanie Redman
National Initiatives Program
Eva’s Initiatives
416-977-4497 ext. 127

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