We understand that finding stable, affordable housing can be a major obstacle for homeless youth. We, therefore, provide affordable and accessible housing for youth who are leaving the foster care system. Clients may apply for a subsidy, and receive up to a forty per cent reduction in rent. In addition, clients are free to access services at the Centre, and are encouraged to continue working with staff to ensure a successful transition.
R.E.S.T. provides a variety of support services for youth exiting the foster care system. Youth who are transitioning from care, are extremely vulnerable, and as such, require specialized support that can address their unique needs. We offer free counselling on site that targets everything from academic counselling, to mental health and addictions treatment. Our approach is holistic. We emphasize strengths over deficits. Resident and non-resident clients have unrestricted access to these services, free of charge.
Bridge of Hope Program
The Bridge of Hope program is a host-home program, in which members of the community provide living space to a youth in need of immediate housing. The goal of the program is to prevent youth homelessness by offering an alternative to an emergency shelter.
The underlying goal of the program is to situate youth in an environment where they feel welcomed, safe and, dare we say, loved. For most youth exiting the foster care system, the feeling of belonging, is often non-existent. We interview, and screen our potential landlords to see if they have what it takes to make our youth feel welcomed, safe, and cherished.
Host-home programs currently exist in the United States and England, and are just starting to breakthrough in Canada. We are excited to be one of the few organizations to offer a host-home program!
Youth who have left home are often the victims of circumstances beyond their control, such as physical, psychological or sexual abuse. This makes returning home extremely difficult--and at times, unrealistic.
R.E.S.T. understands that family plays a crucial role in the lives of our youth. We believe that strong family ties promote youth development, growth, and restoration. Accordingly, R.E.S.T. offers a safe space where family members can come and meet the youth in a positive and controlled environment, in the presence of staff and counsellors. Our hope is that once the relationship has been restored, youth can return home--healed, and whole.
Provide Support for Basic Education
As a result of being homeless, many of our youth have not completed, or even started high school education. R.E.S.T. will provide educational counselling services to ensure clients excel in an academic environment, as well as referral services to post-secondary and vocational training.
R.E.S.T. is proud to partner with local organizations to create opportunities that will allow youth to be enrolled in practicum and/or apprenticeship programs. This is aimed at allowing the youth to gain practical skills and work experience that will prepare youth for employment
Youth and Academic Mentors
R.E.S.T. will provide academic mentors, providing long-term support and guidance for youth. While in school, mentees are expected to work closely with their mentor to achieve academic goals, explore career options, or to simply discuss any other big questions they might think of!