Day program

Horizons for Youth’s Day Program runs daily from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm with additional special events on weekends.  It is a combination of workshops, interactive lessons, and field trips designed to give young people the tools they need to thrive. With an emphasis on advocacy and self-respect, participants identify their goals and values, learn self-care strategies, develop skills for managing their emotions, learn criteria for making sound decisions that helps to better reinforce their resiliency.

Through utilizing various educational strategies, the Day Program is designed to incorporate therapeutic activities like art workshops, trips to the YMCA, healthy cooking, creative writing, and engaging discussion. This gives our youth the opportunity to share and learn in a safe and secure environment.

The Day Program takes a holistic, multifaceted approach to fostering the development of life skills within the at-risk and homeless population that we serve. Our goal is to give youth the skills and tools they need to facilitate real change in their lives. The Day Program works in tandem with our other programs offered at Horizons such as housing, mental health, and aftercare & community support. These programs help to better focus our clients in addressing topics most relevant to them, including how to facilitate housing stabilization and ways to integrate into the community. The Day Program at Horizons is a key aspect of what sets us apart from other youth shelters; the program helps participants develop as individuals and provides a framework for them to reach their goals and potential.

Self Care, Health and Well-Being

The Day Program runs a variety of activities (all interconnected) that are intended to promote and educate our residents on topics of self care, health, and general well-being. The content of the activities range from wellness workshops with our in-house mental health worker, issues of hygiene (such as showering, oral care, laundry, and room maintenance), group physical activity such as yoga sessions or trips to the gym, and much more. One of the ways we use Day Program activities is to facilitate improved mental and emotional health (e.g. meditation, wellness workshops), social health and well being (e.g. volunteer opportunities, interesting field trips), and physical health (e.g. trips to the gym, sports).

Skill Development

Through the Day Program, we are also able to offer clients the opportunity to develop a variety of hard and soft skills. In the past, we’ve conducted “cooking and nutrition 101" workshops, employability workshops and more.  Our aim is to continue in developing and facilitating the necessary skills our clients will require in the real world. We also aim to help clients develop soft skills through the Day Program as well by teaching clients about topics such as conflict resolution, responsibility, attitude, leadership, teamwork, and anger management.

Outreach with Community Partners

Horizons for Youth has been privileged to receive the ongoing support of a variety of community partners, without whom our Day Program wouldn’t be able to reach its full potential. Some community members are able to visit the shelter to provide a workshop for the youth and teach them about a particular skill or habit such as self improvement, harm reduction, and sexual health, as well as working on various aspects of each individual’s social determinants of health. These community members also serve as role models for the youth both in terms of the skill they offer and their generosity in volunteering their time to help others who could benefit from their unique skill set. The Day Program also organizes a variety of volunteer opportunities for residents to partake in to gain hands-on experience and improve their teamwork skills.

Lifelong Learning

We aim to teach our residents skills that they will enjoy today and put to use tomorrow. Our mission is to shelter, prepare, and guide homeless and at-risk youth to be contributing community members and the contributions can begin here. Being a responsible citizen includes caring for yourself and others, and the Day Program aims to encourage this through our multifaceted approach with activities such as those outlined above (and more including financial literacy workshops, GED program, gardening…) and a variety of field trips meant to help foster an interest in the community and the Greater Toronto Area.

If you would like to host a skill development workshop at Horizons for Youth, please contact James Anderson at james@horizonsforyouth.org