Last year Choices for Youth worked with over 1,000 youth. There’s a problem in our community, and you can be a part of the solution. By providing housing, employment, and wrap-around support in a safe and welcoming environment, young people are able to make positive choices and thrive.
How do you find a job if you’re moving from couch to couch? If you don’t have a high school diploma or GED? Supporting yourself as a young person is hard, especially when you’re facing barriers like addictions, poverty, mental health, and homelessness.
In 2014, 29 youth completed the Jumpstart program. 16 continued to further their education, 23 found stable employment, 28 found stable housing, and all 29 accessed financial support with the help of our team. Armed with life skills and work experience, youth are able to break down barriers to work towards personal successes.
Jumpstart offers youth sessions and hands-on experience with workplace responsibility, teamwork, and financial management (just to name a few) all while connecting them with services to lead healthier, happier lives.
If you have a bad day, where do you go? If you’re hungry or hurting or scared or lonely, who do you reach out to? At-risk and homeless youth often don’t have traditional support systems that many of us do - be it mom and dad or a friends we can lean on when times get tough. When living independently they’re tasked with figuring out adult life on their own.
Last year the CFY Outreach Centre served over 12,777 meals and responded to over 1,500 requests for housing, employment, and education support. With a staff of dedicated social workers, Outreach offers a one stop shop for youth needs, especially for the most vulnerable. From personal care items to a phone, and medical care to legal assistance, youth get the support they need in a welcoming space.
Outreach is more than a place for a hot meal and a meaningful conversation; it’s a barrier-free hub for services and support for young people in need.
When living at home isn’t an option, where do you go? Young people are resourceful, but they shouldn’t have to be when finding somewhere to live. In 2014 our Shelter for Young Men had a 92% occupancy rate. From unsafe bedsits and couchsurfing, to shelter stays and bouncing between family homes, there is a shortage of safe, affordable housing for youth in St. John’s.
CFY houses 25 young people across two housing programs and each offer support and connection to a suite of services. In 2014, 10 youth in CFY housing completed pre-employment programs, 6 were pursuing educational opportunities, and 4 had secured stable employment. When at-risk and homeless youth are housed, they are they able to shift away from a crisis-driven lifestyle and move forward.
Our housing programs are designed to offer safe, independent housing with dedicated 24 hour staff support. Using harm reduction and trauma informed practices, youth can feel at home, build new skills, and pursue life goals in a place they can call their own.
Choices for Youth is a non-profit community based charitable organized that has operated in St. John’s for 25 years. CFY is based on the philosophy that everyone has the right to safe housing; a standard of living that promotes physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and social development; an environment of mutual accountability, responsibility, independence, equality, dignity, peace, and respect; protection from abuse; and participation in any decision making that affects their lives.