The creation of youth homelessness is just that - a creation. It is born out of a series of complex factors that contribute to the tragedy of a young person not having a roof over their head and the support they need to face life's challenges.

 

Although we may never eliminate every risk that youth are exposed to, we do have control over our responses and the systems that we put in place to support youth long before they become entrenched in crisis-driven lifestyles.

In Canada, there are approximately 65,000 homeless youth.

This represents the fastest growing and most under-served segment of the homeless population across the country.

In Newfoundland and Labrador many of these at-risk youth congregate in city centres, but the issue is truly provincial in scope. Almost 60% of the homeless population in St. John's comes from other parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, with 40% having moved to the city within the past 5 years.

WHAT CAUSES YOUTH HOMELESSNESS?

HOW DOES YOUTH HOMELESSNESS IMPACT PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES

  • Mental health and/or addictions challenges

  • Family conflict and/or instability

  • Disrupted education

  • Low income and/or poverty

  • Marginalization and/or discrimination

  • Abuse and/or other forms of victimization

  • Experience with child protection systems

  • Previous episode of homelessness

  • Increased rates of unemployment

  • Faced with social isolation and stigma

  • Dangerous exposure to street life and criminal activity

  • Trajectory towards adult and inter-generational homelessness

  • Increased vulnerability to violence and sexual exploitation

  • Increased risk of suicide

  • Expensive and overburdening interventions associated with health, criminal justice and child protection systems

 
A focus on prevention

We are continuously working to redefine the way programs and systems address youth homelessness. Supported by leading researchers and validated programs and practices, we are strategically growing our investments in prevention, youth supports and housing.

TRADITIONAL APPROACH

Investments in Housing & Youth Supports

Investments in Prevention

Investments in Emergency Responses

STRATEGIC APPROACH

Investments in Housing & Youth Supports

Investments in Prevention

Investments in Emergency Responses

From working with young parents and partnering with organizations serving children, to investing in family programming and building connections with the school system - we are playing an important role in helping youth and young families make positive changes before their challenges become too overwhelming to manage.

 
why youth?

YOUTH HAVE

DISTINCT NEEDS

Youth are in the process of transitioning to adulthood. In many cases, they may not have acquired the social, personal, and life skills needed for independent living.

YOUTH INTERACT WITH

SYSTEMS DIFFERENTLY

Youth often avoid other homeless serving systems out of fear of authorities. Additionally, youth have access requirements that are unique from the systems that serve adults.

YOUTH ARE OFTEN CONNECTED TO NUMEROUS CARE SYSTEMS

For youth under the age of 18, the situation presents an added layer of complexity with obligations and involvement of families and government care.

YOUTH WORK IS INHERENTLY FOCUSED ON PREVENTION

Interventions with youth represent an opportunity to avoid long-term, unhealthy entrenchment in cycles of homelessness.

 
building better systems

At Choices for Youth we invest time, energy, and resources to lend our experiences and expertise to important policy and systems change conversations. We do this because we believe that everyone is better off when we design services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

 

Visit the links below to learn more about how we are working collaboratively with youth, partners, and governments to build better systems.

Provincial

Expansion

Comprehensive

Approach to Service

A Focus on

Prevention

Research

Partnerships

Resources

and Publications

By convening spaces for sharing stories and exchanging knowledge, we actively create opportunities to work together in our efforts to build better systems for youth.

IN THE WORDS OF OUR YOUTH

“The people I have around me are so supportive ... with a supportive group around you ... it doesn't matter how bad it gets you can come out of it.”

—  CHARLIE

Connect with us

MAIN OFFICE

261 Duckworth Street

St. John's, NL A1C 1G9

E: info@choicesforyouth.ca

P: 709.754.0446

F: 709.726.3125

Choices for Youth

Registered Charity

130889942 RR0001

All are welcome.