Horizons for Youth provides individualized case management to all residents. Case Managers work one-on-one with each youth to conduct appropriate assessment and referrals. Together, the pair identifies goals and creates a plan of action to work towards them. These goals are focused on; education, employment, health and safety, financial management, legal issues, personal identification, and housing. Case Managers help break down a youth’s long-term goals into small manageable steps to achievement.
The shelter’s Day Program runs daily from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am- 4:00 pm. 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, and learn criteria for making sound decisions.
Through activities like art therapy, trips to the YMCA, healthy cooking, creative writing, and engaging discussion, participants are provided with a number of means to share and learn in a safe and secure environment.
Workshops on goal-setting and values are incorporated into the Day Program. Given the specific needs of the youth we serve, the following four topics always appear in the Day Program calendar.
The Day Program runs a four week unit on self-care. Beginning with issues of hygiene (such as showering, oral care, laundry, and room maintenance), the unit also incorporates workshops on sleeping, stress management, communication and self esteem. Semi-weekly trips to the YMCA are incorporated into the program to address the value of exercise and physical activity. This is a certificate program: residents who complete all four workshops are provided with a personalized certificate acknowledging their commitment and learning.
Nutrition and Healthy Cooking:
Every month, the shelter offers a Nutrition and Healthy Cooking Program. The program is introduced monthly with a workshop designed by a nutritionist, where participants learn to read labels and meet dietary needs. This is followed by a workshop on safe kitchen practices and a trip to the grocery store where the ingredients for an inexpensive and healthy recipe must be purchased within a budget. During the final week of the program, participants use the kitchen at the Jane Street Hub to prepare the recipe. This is a certificate program.
Anger Management and Conflict Resolution:
In Anger Management, participants first identify their anger style, their triggers and the scenarios that prompt it. This is followed by an examination of different strategies for dealing with their anger, and applying those strategies to hypothetical and real situations. Conflict Resolution begins with an examination of different responses to conflict, where participants identify both how they react to conflict and the advantages and disadvantages of that inclination. Participants then examine a number of conflict resolution styles, determining when and how to apply each one and identify scenarios where these different styles are best implemented. A resident who completes all four workshops is given a certificate as recognition of their growth and learning.
Ready, Set, Home:
In Ready, Set, Home, residents participate in workshops that inform them of their housing options, as well as provide them with the skills and awareness required to transition out of the shelter system. Landlord and tenant rights, the process of securing housing, effective budgeting skills and other pertinent topics are covered over the course of the month. The direction of each workshop is tailored to the specific concerns and interests of the clients in attendance so that they may address their individual concerns. Ready, Set, Home is also a certificate program.
We provide emergency accommodation for up to 45 youth each night. Our Residential Program ensures the basic physical needs of residents are met by providing each youth with a warm and safe bed, three meals and two snacks per day, clothing, and personal hygiene products. Residents are also provided with telephone, Internet, computer, and television access.
Young people entering Horizons for Youth have the opportunity to meet with a Housing Worker and participate in Ready, Set, Home, a workshop that educates youth on the realities of living independently. The Housing Worker connects clients with resources such as financial assistance and housing listings, and assists them in making phone calls to landlords and attending apartment viewings. Some of the more favourable outcomes of the Housing Program include family reunification or long-term supportive housing.
Mental Health and Addictions Support
This multifaceted program provides clients with a broad range of services including; individual counselling, case management; crisis management, therapeutic group facilitation and assessment services. Many of these services are provided using an informal, relationship-building approach in the shelter’s common areas or through one-on-one counselling. The counsellor embraces a non-judgemental, harm reduction philosophy that focuses on maintaining safety and empowers client to identify their individual priorities and work with their existing strengths and resilience. The program also provides clients with mental health and addiction resources when they transition out of the shelter into the community.
community support and aftercare
Once housing is secured, former clients can join the Community Support Program. The Community Support Program provides aftercare services to those clients who have found housing through Horizons for Youth’s services. We aim to help them successfully re-integrate into their respective communities. The Community Support Worker will visit youth in their homes and provide transportation, food packages, furniture bank referrals and landlords or roommate mediation if necessary. We also provides former clients with ongoing access to our in-shelter services, including free meals, laundry, and computer/Internet. By providing these services we hope to equip youth with the necessities to live independently and settle into their new homes comfortably.