YEAH! Watari’s New Housing Subsidy Program!
On April 1, 2020, Watari launched the Youth Excelling and Attaining Housing (YEAH!) Program. This new program supports at-risk youth with finding and maintaining housing, and provides a rental subsidy of up to $450 per month. The purpose of the YEAH! Program is to support program participants with working towards their self-identified life goals, including maintaining safe and affordable housing.
The launch of the YEAH! Program provides a valuable addition to resources available to at-risk young people in Greater Vancouver. Providing youth with an opportunity to live in the community of their choosing, connecting with supports they feel they are in need of, offering life-skills and psychoeducation group sessions, and individualized case management are all key elements to how the YEAH! Program supports youth as they continue their commitment to moving forward with their life goals, focusing on mental and physical wellness, and integrating into their community.
The announcement and subsequent launch of the YEAH! Program received a very positive reception among community partners whom support at-risk youth. A diverse range of youth coming from unique backgrounds and circumstances have referred to the YEAH! Program since it began a few weeks ago. Not only is this new program supporting youth who have been adversely effected by the housing crisis, it is also supporting youth who have been impacted by the economic situation caused by COVID-19. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the program has been adapted in order to continue to support youths’ participation in the program while adhering to safety standards that promote program participants’ mental and physical well-being. During this time of COVID-19, program participants have the option to attend their meetings over the phone or video communication rather than in-person.