ACF13960

Next CHOICE - Transitional Housing

  • Submitted by:

    Christopher Sheehan

    Organization:

    Choices Youth Shelter

    Location:

    Orangeville, Ontario

  • Idea Created:

    September 28, 2012

    Budget:

    Large ($100K - 150K)

Overview:

Choices Youth Shelter provides emergency and transitional housing to youth ages 16-24. Youth eligible for short term shelter care include those who have run away from home, are at risk of running away because of abuse or any other reason, and those who have been kicked out of their homes or are at risk of being kicked out. Sometimes family conflict is so severe that a cooling off period will help a great deal.

Our goal is to provide adolescent youths with a safe place, and with an opportunity to stabilize their lives. Youth have access to individual and group counselling for personal issues, anger management, and many other social skills that are needed to become productive citizens in our community. Since opening in January 2000, the shelter has grown through community support and the dedication of many volunteers.  During the past twelve years the shelter has had over 1450 residents from Orangeville and surrounding areas.

Choices Youth Shelter has embarked on a new venture. We will be beginning our first ever transitional housing project. Our initial transitional housing project will be called Next CHOICE. Choices will be offering selected youth aged 16 to 24 an opportunity to reside in a partially supervised and subsidized apartment. Not only will this project give youth independence, responsibility, and confidence it will also raise their self esteem, allowing them to become an integral part of our community.

Many youth who access the shelter find it very difficult to return to the community due to the high costs of living. Next CHOICE will give them that opportunity to finally leave the shelter system and begin their lives free and independent of the constraints of the shelter system, but still have the supports that Choices Youth Shelter provides.

Transitional housing programs benefit the community surrounding them by providing youth with a safe place to reside. They have proven to not only help youth who have committed crimes turn a new leaf, but also prevent youth who may have felt no choice but to commit crimes gain a sense of hope that things will be better. Transitional housing improves the health of a community by providing youth with a place to improve their personal hygiene and gain some self esteem. Substance abuse is quite often a concern within communities which have homeless youth. Next CHOICE will provide those youth access to effective support measures that will help them get clean and stay clean.

This Aviva grant would allow Choices Youth Shelter make the     Next CHOICE transitional housing project a reality.