Onsite Residence

Our longer-term onsite residence called CIBC Rights of Passage (ROP) offers youth, 16 to 24, the opportunity to develop life skills and benefit from a communal environment to prepare them for independent living.

Twenty-eight youth are given a room of their own for up to a year, along with a set of expectations designed to prepare them to successfully live on their own.

Many of our kids have only ever lived in chaotic environments—an abusive family home, a friend’s couch, a shelter or the street. It is so meaningful for these youth to get a room of their own in this welcoming community with the support of staff that are invested in their well-being. There is often a sense of excitement in ROP as a new resident moves in.

Expectations

Kids in ROP most often must be in full-time employment, school or both. If this is not possible, they may participate in an alternative program like job training or a mental health day program. They are required to check in regularly with their youth workers and attend house meetings with their fellow residents.

Youth also have chores, like tidying the common areas. They are expected to attend at least two life skills workshops a month, such as budgeting, cooking or time management. Finally, they are expected to pay into a trust account monthly, just like paying rent. They receive the money at the end of their stay, which gives them some savings to put towards housing.

When youth first arrive in ROP, a budget is created for their life in the program. They determine a reasonable amount for their monthly trust fund contributions. They also create a realistic budget for life after the program. This helps them to understand whether they need to increase their income or cut their expenses over their stay to meet their goals.

Learning independence

Youth at ROP are given progressive privileges, such as extended curfews, when they demonstrate accountability. The privileges provide immediate incentives, but they also teach the kids to continue to make responsible choices with their increased freedom.

Caring community

Kids living in ROP are diverse and the factors that led to their homelessness are often very different. They learn to share, negotiate, manage conflict and live in a close community. They share a comfortable TV lounge and kitchen area.

There are frequent outings around the city and gatherings in house, along with an impromptu picnic on our rooftop garden now and then. When a kid moves out, there is a often tearful “graduation” party.

Kids are connected with the Youth in Transition program to settle them into their housing. ROP alumni visit or contact us often to let us know how they are doing.

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