Covenant House Vancouver provides short-term housing for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Along with safe, supported housing, young people receive food, clothing and hygiene supplies. They can also receive substance misuse counselling, treatment for mental illness and support with finding a job and a safe place to live when they leave us. In the last year, we had 474 youth access our short-term housing program in Vancouver.
In Vancouver there is an estimated 500-1,000 youth on the streets every night. These youth have either fled physical, emotional and sexual abuse; have been forced from their homes; or have aged out of foster care at 19 years old. Over the past three years, homelessness in the Greater Vancouver area has increased by 30% indicating that this problem is only growing. That coupled with the opioid crisis, we are saddened to report that we are losing an average of 2 youth a month to this crisis.
Covenant House Vancouver provides a continuum of care to help the youth exactly where they are, including our short-term housing program. The short-housing program first meets their basic needs like medical attention, nutritious food and a safe place to sleep. Once they have settled they can begin working on their goals such as employment or education to help them escape homelessness and grow into the person they were always meant to be.
This program will serve 474 youth experiencing homelessness in Vancouver to help them work on their goals so that they can leave behind the streets forever. By giving them the second chance they need, they are able to heal from their past traumas and grow into happy, healthy and independent members of society.