Homelessness is one of the most isolating, lonely and stressful experiences a person can endure. Young people living on the streets are particularly vulnerable, often dealing with complex challenges that include abuse, addiction, mental illness, legal issues and extreme poverty.
Believing that young people have the right to experience success living in housing in a community of their choice, Watari developed a support and subsidy program for youth struggling with substance use issues who wanted an opportunity to live in better circumstances. With funding from Vancouver Coastal Health since 2005, Transitioning Into Independence (TIP) Level 1 has housed over 85 young people across the Lower Mainland and worked with them to figure out how to negotiate the world as active participants.
With the success of TIP1, the program was adapted to support pregnant and parenting homeless youth and successfully funded by the Vancouver Foundation in 2008. This phase of the project allowed us to work with two generations at a time and bring on external evaluators for the program. Now supported through the Spencer Creo Foundation, Vancouver Foundation and Sanctuary for Kids Foundation, TIP Level 2 houses 10 young parents and their children, sometimes their partners and works with them to plan for the future.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW?
Young people who are involved with a substance use counsellor, or want to look at independent living as an option, can connect with the Transitioning into Independence Program through the Vancouver Coastal Health's Central Addictions Intake Team (CAIT) as follows:
Phone: 604-675 2455 ext. 22501
Clients enrolled in the program, who need to contact a TIP Outreach Worker, can do so by calling Dustin (TIP 1) at 604-782-9417 or Lavern (TIP 2) at 604-726-8852
Both outreach workers can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.