Supportive Housing for Youth

You might not always see it, but youth homelessness does exist in St. Thomas & Elgin County

At any given time, it is estimated that there are approximately 100 homeless youth, ages 16 – 24, living in St. Thomas & Elgin County (Org Code Consulting Inc, 2013). Youth homelessness is often invisible. They often couch surf or stay with friends or family temporarily, often moving from one place to the next without stability and support. In a recent community study on youth homelessness,78% of youth experiencing homelessness reported that family dysfunction and breakdown resulted in their homelessness (2018). Given the stage of development and their previous dependence on adults in their lives for structure, social development and getting their basic needs met, youth experiencing homelessness are often more vulnerable to exploitation, risk and harm than their adult counterparts.

Because of this, the YWCA provides four youth homes and pairs youth within our housing along with those living in the community with a Housing Based Case Manager to improve their housing stability and opportunities for education, employment, positive social relationships, family reunification and improved health and well-being.

The Voice Behind the Lens

We asked local youth with lived experience “What does homelessness mean to you?”

Using various mediums, including cellphone photography, the youth set out to capture what it was like for them during their experience of homelessness.

What does the program offer?

  • A place to call home, private bedrooms
  • Communal living spaces
  • Onsite peer support
  • Housing based case management to actively develop a youth centred support plan
  • System navigation and service referrals
  • Independent life skills development 
  • Opportunities for one on one counselling/family reunification supports
  • Cooperative living skills

All our supportive and transitional housing programs provide youth with the opportunity to make a healthy transition from adolescence to adulthood. The programs follow a Housing First approach to ending homelessness that centers on quickly moving youth experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing. Below are our 4 youth supportive housing programs based on identified gender and age;

Fairwinds (males 16 – 24 years, 4-bedroom home)

Harmony House (females 16 – 24 years, 4-bedroom home)

Horizon House (females 18 – 24 years, 3-bedroom home)

Unity House (males 18 – 24 years, 3-bedroom home)

Who is Eligible for this program?

Youth who are experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of becoming homeless, within St. Thomas and Elgin County. The young individuals living within our youth housing are often high school students, working part time and striving to move forward with their lives. Individuals must be open to living communally, and in a community atmosphere. The intake process of youth will follow the Youth Homelessness Protocol.

If you are 25 years or older please visit Supportive Housing for Adults.

The Voice Behind the Lens: The Next Chapter

In 2018, we once again got a group of youth ages 16-24 together and by solely using photography they chose to share with you their personal journeys from Homelessness to finding housing stability.

This proved to be a therapeutic process for many that participated.

Courtney’s journey

Home is not a place… it’s a feeling

How do I apply?

To start our intake process, fill out the form below or call (519) 631-9800 extension 237 to book an appointment with our Homelessness Systems Developer.

Please note inquiries will be reviewed within 3-4 business days.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation or are in immediate risk of being homeless please phone our main office during regular business hours (519) 631-9800 or call 2-1-1 for emergency services within your area.

Recent News

Bike-a-thon For A Cause Winners Announced

Bike-a-thon For A Cause Winners Announced

Thank you to all participants for joining us in our 1st ever virtual Bike-A-Thon! The weather was great during our week-long event which gave members of our community the opportunity to ride, walk, run or stroll in support of YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin. Through your...

Housing and Homelessness System Coordinator

Housing and Homelessness System Coordinator

Summary The Housing and Homelessness System Coordinator will provide administrative and professional support to youth and women homelessness initiatives and YWCA housing programs including intakes, data collection and reporting.  The System Coordinator will represent...

Housing and Homelessness System Coordinator

Newcomer Settlement Worker

Report to: Manager of Settlement Services Location: St. Thomas, Ontario Wage/Hours of work: $21.00-$23.00 per hour; 26 hours or more per week Start date: As soon as possible Under the direction of the Manager, the Newcomer Settlement Worker will be responsible for...

Bike-a-thon For A Cause Winners Announced

Bike-A-Thon Participant KM Reporting Form

Thank you for participating in our 1st ever Bike-A-Thon! In order to qualify for the amazing prizes we have listed below all individuals OR teams must complete the below form to report the total number of kilometers you completed during our week-long event. All...

Launching our 10th Anniversary Keep A Roof Campaign

Launching our 10th Anniversary Keep A Roof Campaign

Released August 19, 2020 - St.Thomas We often think of housing and homelessness as a big city issue, but homelessness does not discriminate, and occurs in small communities like ours every day. Experiences for those being homeless or at risk of homeless are devasting...

A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada

A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada

Released July 28, 2020 - Toronto On every front, the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded hard-fought gains to gender equity. From massive layoffs to increased unpaid work to the rise of domestic violence, women have been disproportionately impacted by the health and economic...

Water Smart® Colouring Contest for Kids

Water Smart® Colouring Contest for Kids

Thank you to those that participated in our July colouring contest. Contest is now closed. Winners to be announced soon!Drowning is preventable! Join the Lifesaving Society Canada in promoting safety awareness in, on and around the water during National Drowning...

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

There Comes A Time When Silence is Betrayal. Martin Luther King Jr.   These are stressful and soul searching times as we think about how we can be part of the solution to ending systemic racism . We have watched the heart wrenching images and been witness to the...

Announcing our 2020/21 Board of Directors Nominees

Announcing our 2020/21 Board of Directors Nominees

May 22, 2020  YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin announces proposed slate for Board of Directors for 2020/21. Erica Arnett – Erica has a Health Sciences degree from UWO and has been working in Public Health for over 15 years.  Erica recently completed her MBA.  Erica was a member...

Exit Site
Skip to content