Tag Archives: addictions

LOFT Community Services

LOFT promotes independence and recovery for individuals with multiple challenges including mental health, addiction, physical health and homelessness issues. LOFT offers support services including transitional and longer term housing.

“Thanks to LOFT, I went back to school. Got my high school diploma. And I’m inches away from a degree in social work from George Brown College. Pretty great, right? Well, it’s just the beginning. Next, I’m applying to the nursing program at George Brown. I really hope I get in. Me, a nurse. Helping others. Not just a job, but a career. And a stable, meaningful, good life.” – Participant, TAY Program

The Initiative

Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program which focuses on youth aged 18 to 24 experiencing mental health and/or addiction issues. The key to the program is developing an empathetic, hopeful and continuous client-worker relationship and coordination of support across sectors. The program serves about 200 youth per year offering a range of supports including case management, system navigation, assistance with the activities of daily living, advocacy and access to housing.

Impact for youth:

  • Increased sense of hope, self esteem and emotional development
  •  Goal setting among youth with renewed focus on re-engaging with school, becoming employed, gaining financial self sufficiency, getting ‘a place of their own’
  • Increase in involvement in vocational roles (employment, pre-employment, skills training, volunteering, etc.)
  • Increase in involvement in educational roles (GED, college, university, school readiness program, etc)
  • Increase in proportion of youth living in safe housing
  • Increase in physical and mental health supports being accessed by the youth

Background

About the Awards

Eva’s Initiatives and the Sprott Foundation in collaboration with Virgin Unite are pleased to offer four awards of $25,000 each for organizations working with homeless and at-risk youth.

The goal of the awards is to recognize community initiatives that are:

  • Moving beyond responding to the most basic needs of homeless and at-risk youth
  • Demonstrating significant impacts in the lives of vulnerable youth
  • Delivering programs or services aimed at preventing youth homelessness for example when youth are vulnerable do to encounters with criminal justice system, mental health crises, or when exiting from foster care, for example
  • Breaking the cycle of homelessness among youth by integrating supports such as: housing, education, employment, family connections, and interventions to address mental health concerns and/or addictions. This may also include strategies aimed at harm reduction and increasing the social inclusion of marginalized youth.

This is an Awards program, not a funding stream. The objective is to showcase and celebrate programs in Canada that have demonstrated impact in ending youth homelessness in their communities.

Organizations may self-nominate their own program or initiative.

About Eva’s Initiatives

Eva’s works locally and nationally to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness in Canada. In Toronto, we operate 3 purpose-built emergency and transitional facilities that focus on family reconnection, harm reduction, employment, education, and life skills programming. Eva’s National Initiatives works to build the capacity of the youth-serving sector and foster systemic change nationally. We do this through an array of programs and projects, including convening the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness and leading the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness Program.

What does Eva’s mean by ‘homeless or at-risk of homelessness’?

Homeless youth are those:

  • without physical shelter – living on the street; sleeping outdoors; staying in shelters and emergency hostels; temporarily staying with friends or ‘couch surfing.’

Youth at-risk are:

  • living where there is family conflict or violence
  • living in overcrowded conditions, physically unsafe dwellings, or illegal dwellings
  • living in a household that is paying so much for housing that there is no money left over for other necessities
  • vulnerable to losing their housing for economic, behavioural, addictions, and/or mental or physical health reasons.
  • Community organizations working with young people in age groups between 15 and 30
  • Organizations working with youth in the housing, health, community services, employment and training, justice, and/or education sectors
  • Organizations working with homeless or at-risk youth in large, medium or smaller-sized urban areas
  • Organizations working with Aboriginal youth on- or off-reserve, as well as organizations operating in rural or northern communities

Who is eligible for a $25,000 award?

Programs or initiatives nominated for this award should be operational for one or more years to have sufficient evidence of preventing, reducing and/or ending youth homelessness.

Applicants must be an incorporated non-profit organization in Canada, or a registered charity or an organization sponsored by, or affiliated with, a registered charity.

How do we nominate a program or initiative?

  • Nomination forms can be downloaded from evasinitiatives.com, or requested from awards@evas.ca
  • Use the nomination form to describe an initiative or program in your organization that is successful in preventing, reducing or ending youth homelessness. The initiative must be operational in 2014 with evidence of results to date.
  • Applications are due by email to awards@evas.ca no later than 9 pm EST on Thursday, January 15, 2015.
  • Send accompanying documents, such as financial statements or annual report, by email or letter mail, postmarked no later than Thursday January 15, 2015. Mailing address is: Eva’s Initiatives, 215 Spadina Ave., Suite 370, Toronto, ON M5T 2C7  Attention:  Awards Program. If emailing a very large document, send it as an attachment in a separate email.

Who chooses the winners?

Eva’s Initiatives has convened a National Review Panel with members from across the country who have extensive experience working with homeless youth and are leaders in ending youth homelessness in Canada. Winners will be announced in March 2015.

What will the National Review Panel look for?

  • Evidence that the initiative works primarily with youth and has been operational for a year or more
  • Innovative service delivery
  • Systems change initiatives and collaborative partnerships
  • Initiatives fostering greater social inclusion of youth
  • Evidence of positive impacts for youth
  • Evidence of a system for measuring results and outcome

Preference may be given to organizations who are not already participating in other ventures supported by Eva’s Initiatives including the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness program and the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.

For more information contact:

Deborah Hierlihy
Awards Coordinator
awards@evas.ca
(613) 471-1348

Our Sponsor

Eva’s Awards for Ending Youth Homelessness are generously sponsored by the Sprott Foundation in collaboration with Virgin Unite.

Welcome

Eva’s Initiatives, the Sprott Foundation and Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, are pleased to offer four awards of $25,000 each for organizations working with homeless and at-risk youth.

The goal of the awards is to recognize community initiatives that are:

  • Moving beyond responding to the most basic needs of homeless and at-risk youth
  • Demonstrating significant impacts in the lives of vulnerable youth
  • Delivering programs or services aimed at preventing youth homelessness for example when youth are vulnerable do to encounters with criminal justice system, mental health crises, or when exiting from foster care, for example
  • Breaking the cycle of homelessness among youth by integrating supports such as: housing, education, employment, family connections, and interventions to address mental health concerns and/or addictions. This may also include strategies aimed at harm reduction and increasing the social inclusion of marginalized youth.

This is an Awards program, not a funding stream. The objective is to showcase and celebrate programs in Canada that have demonstrated impact in ending youth homelessness in their communities.

Organizations may self-nominate their own program or initiative.

“Initiatives to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness are indeed bold,” noted Maria Crawford, Executive Director of Eva’s Initiatives. “These awards are a way to recognize, honour and encourage organizations doing pioneering work that contributes to the national goal of ending youth homelessness.”

The deadline for applications is 9 pm EST, Wednesday January 29, 2014.

For more information please contact:<
Deborah Hierlihy
Awards Coordinator
awards@evas.ca
(613) 471-1348

Definition / Définition

Homeless youth are those:

  • without physical shelter – living on the street; sleeping outdoors; staying in shelters and emergency hostels; temporarily staying with friends or ‘couch surfing.’

Youth at-risk are:

  • living where there is family conflict or violence
  • living in overcrowded conditions, physically unsafe dwellings, or illegal dwellings
  • living in a household that is paying so much for housing that there is no money left over for other necessities
  • vulnerable to losing their housing for economic, behavioural, addictions, and/or mental or physical health reasons.

Qu’entend Eva’s par « sans abri ou à risque de le devenir »?

Les jeunes sans abri sont ceux qui :

  • n’ont pas d’abri physique – ils vivent dans la rue; dorment à la belle étoile; demeurent dans des maisons d’hébergement ou des refuges d’urgence; s’installent temporairement chez des amis ou dorment chez l’un ou chez l’autre.

Les jeunes à risque de devenir sans abri sont ceux qui :

  • vivent dans un foyer marqué par la violence ou des conflits familiaux.
  • vivent dans une maison surpeuplée ou des logements illégaux ou dangereux et insalubres.
  • vivent dans un logement dont le loyer est si élevé qu’il ne reste plus d’argent pour répondre aux autres besoins essentiels.
  • risquent l’éviction pour des raisons économiques, comportementales, de toxicomanie ou de santé physique ou mentale.

2013 Awards Winners

 

 

 

 

 

Winner : Les Habitations L’Escalier, a youth employment organization operating in Montréal and the Eastern Townships of Québec

“For several months now, I’ve been living at a shelter called l’Escalier. I also work at Distributions l’Escalier, and it’s my first job! With this job, I am also able to work from time to time at their Champêtreries farm. I like it there because you are constantly moving and learning new things! This experience allows me to meet new people and it also give me a place to relax and escape the stress of the city. I love it! Living and working at l’Escalier pushes me to think about my future. This has made me realize that I want to go back to school. The intervention team at home and work are very happy with my work and this gives me more confidence. Now I know how to cultivate onions! Before I didn’t even know that you had to rip the onions out of the earth.”

The initiative : La Ferme aux Champêtreries, a job entry program for young adults aged 18 to 30 who face barriers in accessing employment due to low educational achievement, lack of work experience, prior problems with addictions, family instability, and/or a precarious financial situation.

  • Paid work placement for 6 months on a farm
  • Partnerships with local employers in the region facilitates participants finding employment at the end of the placement

Impact for youth :

  •  Develop transferable technical, personal and social skills
  • Gain work experience in horticulture, agriculture, cooking, distribution, warehouse operations, and customer service
  • Skill development makes integration into community, education or occupational pursuits easier
  • Experience being members of a community  
  • In 2011-12: 6 months after placement, 55 % of participants had work, 26% had returned to school, and 3 % embarked on a new training program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner: Niagara Resource Service for Youth (o/a The RAFT) based in St. Catharines, ON provides hostel and outreach services and independent living supports to high risk and homeless youth in throughout Niagara Region.

“I couldn’t live at home anymore. My dad and brother partied all the time and I couldn’t get any sleep or school work done. I missed school all the time because I was staying in Fort Erie and my school was in Ridgeway. My school thought it would be a good to meet Amber [Youth Reconnect Worker] and get some help. We met at my school. She helped me a lot and got me a really nice apartment. I couldn’t go to my high school anymore because I missed so much school. Amber got me into EDVanced where I can catch up on credits faster and be able to graduate on time. I should be able to go back to my high school next year if I get caught up. I would like to be back with my friends. Amber checks up on me all the time making sure I go to class and I know if I need anything she’s always there for me. “ RAFT participant

The initiative: Youth Reconnect which aims to keep precariously housed youth in school and connected to their community.  Working in partnership with local agencies, this homelessness prevention program:

  • Accepts referrals from high schools, community partners, social service agencies and police services
  • Helps youth access resources and increase their self sufficiency
  • Provides advocacy services, life skills training, one-on-one mentoring, and emergency hostel access
  • Helps youth find affordable housing, live independently, and remain housed
  • Facilitates family re-unification whenever possible and safe to do so
  • Focuses on assisting youth reduce involvement in high risk behaviours

Impact for youth:

  • Over 75 % of participants remain in school
  • Over 90 % of participants remain housed after 3 months with the service and 70 % remained housed after 6 months
  • Estimated to have reduced shelter usage by 370 youth individuals in 2011
  • 100 % of participants reported feeling safe and supported compared to only 30 % before connecting with the services
  • Increased feelings of connectedness with their own communities
  • Increased knowledge and ability to access a variety of community resources

 

 

Winner: This is a collaborative inter-agency partnership involving: Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Youville Centre, Operation Come Home, Eastern Ottawa Youth Justice Agency, and United Way Ottawa

“This is the best that I have ever done in my life, I am in school, I’m clean and I got a job.”

“Addiction and Mental Health Counselling helped me to break away from a vicious cycle. I deserve better and my daughter deserves better.”

The initiative: Project s.t.e.p.: provides substance abuse treatment as well as prevention and early intervention for young people in non-traditional academic settings. Each partner agency has a specific client focus, such as homeless youth, Aboriginal youth, teen mothers, at-risk or street involved youth.

  • Helps youth re-engage with academic achievement
  • Connects youth with addictions and mental health counselling
  • Multi-agency collaborative initiative with a common evaluation framework between agencies, common data collection and reporting platform

Impact for youth:

  • Increased access to individual counselling
  • Improved school attendance
  • Youth addressing mental health and addictions challenges and achieving high school equivalency
  • Increased motivation to continue on a path to independence and healthy living
  • Reduced participation in high risk activities

 

 

 

 

Winner: YWCA Metro Vancouver, a multi-service organization serving over 55,000 people annually through 43 programs.

“Crabtree Housing has helped me in so many ways. The support and encouragement I was given to make healthy, life changing choices was the most important piece for me. I was able to overcome my addiction to drugs. I was able to end toxic relationships and get a full-time job. I successfully regained custody of my daughter within a year. I take pride in providing for my daughter today and I am forever grateful to Crabtree’s staff, programs and the clean, safe apartment I lived in while making the most important decisions of my life.” Nora

The initiative: YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing provides 12 units of safe transitional housing and supports for young women who are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addictions and who are pregnant, have recently given birth, are currently parenting or are working to regain custody of their children.

  • Housing and supports are for up to 18 months
  • Initiatives to reduce barriers to affordable long-term housing such as grants to clear outstanding utility and housing debts
  • Resources to support personal and professional development

Impact for young mothers:

  • Support in recovering from drug and/or alcohol use
  • Success in connecting with other community resources
  • Opportunity to develop social and community networks
  • Pregnant women delivering healthy babies and retaining custody or regaining custody
  • Securing long-term housing after leaving Crabtree Corner

 

Les Habitations L’Escalier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner: Les Habitations L’Escalier, a youth employment organization operating in Montréal and the Eastern Townships of Québec

For several months now, I’ve been living at a shelter called l’Escalier. I also work at Distributions l’Escalier, and it’s my first job! With this job, I am also able to work from time to time at their Champêtreries farm. I like it there because you are constantly moving and learning new things! This experience allows me to meet new people and it also give me a place to relax and escape the stress of the city. I love it! Living and working at l’Escalier pushes me to think about my future. This has made me realize that I want to go back to school. The intervention team at home and work are very happy with my work and this gives me more confidence. Now I know how to cultivate onions! Before I didn’t even know that you had to rip the onions out of the earth.

The initiative: La Ferme aux Champêtreries, a job entry program for young adults aged 18 to 30 who face barriers in accessing employment due to low educational achievement, lack of work experience, prior problems with addictions, family instability, and/or a precarious financial situation.

  • Paid work placement for 6 months on a farm
  • Partnerships with local employers in the region facilitates participants finding employment at the end of the placement

Impact for youth:

  •  Develop transferable technical, personal and social skills
  • Gain work experience in horticulture, agriculture, cooking, distribution, warehouse operations, and customer service
  • Skill development makes integration into community, education or occupational pursuits easier
  • Experience being members of a community  
  • In 2011-12: 6 months after placement, 55 % of participants had work, 26% had returned to school, and 3 % embarked on a new training program

Project s.t.e.p.

 

 

 

Winner: This is a collaborative inter-agency partnership involving: Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Youville Centre, Operation Come Home, Eastern Ottawa Youth Justice Agency, and United Way Ottawa

“This is the best that I have ever done in my life, I am in school, I’m clean and I got a job.”

“Addiction and Mental Health Counselling helped me to break away from a vicious cycle. I deserve better and my daughter deserves better.”

The initiative: Project s.t.e.p.: provides substance abuse treatment as well as prevention and early intervention for young people in non-traditional academic settings. Each partner agency has a specific client focus, such as homeless youth, Aboriginal youth, teen mothers, at-risk or street involved youth.

  • Helps youth re-engage with academic achievement
  • Connects youth with addictions and mental health counselling
  • Multi-agency collaborative initiative with a common evaluation framework between agencies, common data collection and reporting platform

Impact for youth:

  • Increased access to individual counselling
  • Improved school attendance
  • Youth addressing mental health and addictions challenges and achieving high school equivalency
  • Increased motivation to continue on a path to independence and healthy living
  • Reduced participation in high risk activities

YWCA Metro Vancouver

 

 

 

 

Winner: YWCA Metro Vancouver, a multi-service organization serving over 55,000 people annually through 43 programs.

Crabtree Housing has helped me in so many ways. The support and encouragement I was given to make healthy, life changing choices was the most important piece for me. I was able to overcome my addiction to drugs. I was able to end toxic relationships and get a full-time job. I successfully regained custody of my daughter within a year. I take pride in providing for my daughter today and I am forever grateful to Crabtree’s staff, programs and the clean, safe apartment I lived in while making the most important decisions of my life. Nora

The initiative: YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing provides 12 units of safe transitional housing and supports for young women who are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addictions and who are pregnant, have recently given birth, are currently parenting or are working to regain custody of their children.

  • Housing and supports are for up to 18 months
  • Initiatives to reduce barriers to affordable long-term housing such as grants to clear outstanding utility and housing debts
  • Resources to support personal and professional development

Impact for young mothers:

  • Support in recovering from drug and/or alcohol use
  • Success in connecting with other community resources
  • Opportunity to develop social and community networks
  • Pregnant women delivering healthy babies and retaining custody or regaining custody
  • Securing long-term housing after leaving Crabtree Corner

YWCA Metro Vancouver

 

 

 

Le gagnant : Le YWCA Metro Vancouver, un centre multiservices au service de plus de 55 000 personnes par année grâce à 43 programmes.

L’initiative : Le YWCA Crabtree Corner Housing offre 12 unités de logement de transition, sécuritaire, et apporte du soutien aux jeunes femmes qui se sont libérées de leur toxicomanie ou de leur alcoolisme, sont enceintes, ont donné naissance à un enfant, élèvent actuellement leurs enfants ou se préoccupent d’en reprendre la garde.

  • Logement et soutien pour une période allant jusqu’à 18 mois
  • Initiatives pour surmonter les obstacles liés au logement abordable à long terme telles que subventions pour s’acquitter de dettes en cours – services publics et logement
  • Ressources pour favoriser un développement personnel et professionnel

Répercussions chez les jeunes mères :

  • Soutien à la suite d’une cure de désintoxication (drogues ou alcool)
  • Prise de contact réussie avec les autres ressources communautaires
  • Opportunité de développer des réseaux sociaux et communautaires
  • Les femmes enceintes donnent naissance à des bébés en santé et en ont la garde ou la reprennent si elles l’ont perdue
  • Assurance d’un logement à long terme après avoir quitté Crabtree