When young people turn up at CFY, they might have come from a block away, or from a thousand kilometers away. It’s a reality for at-risk youth in Newfoundland and Labrador that services and supports are concentrated in St. John’s.
A recent point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness in the city found that 21.4% of respondents had moved to St. John’s in the past year, and 38% within the past five years. One in five of them said that they moved to St. John’s specifically to access services.
We also know, though, that best practice is to put measures in place to identify at-risk youth in their home communities and provide them with support and services close to home.
What We'Re Doing
These are province-wide challenges that will need a province-wide solution – and CFY is getting the ball rolling. This means two things:
Expanding our programming
Over the next three years, we’ll be working on opportunities to expand services and programs to several communities around Newfoundland and Labrador. To make that happen, we are actively looking for organizations and community leaders to partner with in order to fill gaps and ensure young people are able to access the supports they need beyond the St. John’s Metro Area.
A provincial plan for vulnerable and homeless youth
Newfoundland and Labrador has the opportunity to become a social policy leader by developing and implementing a province-wide plan to end youth homelessness. Building on our Towards A Solution report, CFY is expanding these conversations by bringing people together, gathering data, and connecting communities with national and international partners.
How You Can Help
As a critical step in this work, Choices for Youth wants to get a sense of what some of the opportunities might be for partnerships, and cultivate a community of individuals and organizations who are already doing work to support at-risk and homeless youth (ages 16-29) around the province. We are also keen to hear from indigenous and LGBTQ2S youth, and the people who work with them, recognizing how many added challenges these young people often face.
Do you have an idea for a partnership, or your eye on a gap in services outside of St. John’s? We’d love to hear from you.
To get in touch directly, you can reach out to our Provincial Expansion Coordinator, Joshua Smee anytime.