When kids move to independence, we give them the assistance and guidance they need to find and keep their new housing.
Our dedicated housing workers sit down with youth to assess their level of readiness for independent living. They discuss objectives for their new home and put together a realistic budget based on their income and expenses.
Partnerships for success
Our housing workers have built partnerships with several property owners of safe and affordable housing. These landlords contact us regularly if they have vacancies and ask us to help mediate if any issues arise.
We contact these and other property managers on behalf of our youth and join them on viewings. We assess the quality of the apartment and get to know the landlord. They are reassured that there are trustworthy professionals vouching for the youth. We also provide a safeguard for the youth, because landlords know we check in often and have a keen understanding of tenant rights.
Ensuring kids are not alone
On moving day, we do just what a supportive parent would do when their kid is ready to leave home. We move boxes in our van, help clean up, unpack and make sure the youth know we are just a call away. We have a partnership with a furniture bank and also provide each kid with a starter kit that includes essentials like food, dishes and linens. We orient youth to the services in their community, like inexpensive grocery stores, local food banks and recreation centres.
We drop in regularly on kids for about a year to review their living situation, often with care packages in hand. We tailor our approach to each youth, because some like weekly check-ins, while others prefer more autonomy.
Navigating the system
Some of our kids are able to achieve independence through financial assistance like on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program. Our housing workers navigate these government programs expertly and advocate for our kids to give them the best chance for sustainable independence.
We’re proud of how we do this. We have kids at the end of the year renegotiating their own leases with their landlords. We set them up for success and watch them develop skills they didn’t know they had.”
– Don, Housing Worker
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