Our new, comprehensive five-year strategic plan addresses gaps in services and supports for homeless youth and creates more opportunities for homeless youth to help move them successfully to independence.
An extensive planning process confirmed that most youth using Covenant House services need more job opportunities, life skills training, aftercare and more supportive housing options to be able to achieve long-term, sustainable independent living.
For the past four years, we have seen record-high daily numbers of young people with increasingly complex needs.
An estimated 35 percent of these youth are coping with mental health issues – often the result of their experiences at home or on the street. As well, about 40 percent of Covenant House youth have been involved with the child welfare system, and 25 percent have been in foster care.
Without adequate stable housing, life skills, education and job experience, these young people face major challenges in moving forward with their lives.
In response, the new plan sets key strategic priorities:
- Housing and Aftercare, including new community-based transitional and specialized housing options, enhanced life skills training, more aftercare and expanded support for youth leaving the care of children’s aid.
- Employment Opportunities, including more job and apprenticeship training
with industry partners; social enterprise and more educational
- Outcomes and Community Support, including partnerships to better assist
sexually exploited and trafficked victims, those who have mental health
and addiction issues and LGBTQ youth. Track program effectiveness across
all of our services and improve outcome measures.
- Advocacy to Offer a Stronger Public Voice, including influencing public
policy to improve the lives of homeless and at-risk youth.
- Fiscal Stewardship, including diversifying and expanding revenue
sources, re-investing reserves in youth services and pursuing government
funding where appropriate.
- Expansion/Innovation, including exploring the potential for another site
outside of Toronto, and working toward a national/international youth
homelessness prevention strategy.
The new strategic plan is the result of more than six months of extensive consultation with a multitude of stakeholders, including youth using our services, donors, community partners, government and other service agencies. It also reflects the findings of an in-depth review and analysis of other local, national and international youth service providers. The work was done in partnership with KPMG LLP (Canada), which provided its services pro bono.
We are making great strides as we continue to put into action our five-year plan – now into its third year.
Click here to view our achievements to date and goals moving forward. (PDF 193K)
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