Watari’s Eatside Integrated Youth Outreach Team responds to and provides street youths’ immediate needs for food, clothing, shelter, and medical care right within the core of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.


Our Transition to Independence Program 1 and 2, assists youth ages 16-24 to transfer into independence by removing homelessness, and providing support for mental health and substance misuse issues.

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Working with a vulnerable and often “pushed aside” population, the Eastside Integrated Youth Team includes two full time outreach workers, Matt and Krystal. This program is funded through Vancouver Coastal Health, the City of Vancouver, and BC Housing. Attached to BC Housing funding, the youth team is able to offer a one-year housing subsidy for youth at risk of homeless, which has allowed numerous individuals they support to obtain and maintain market housing.
Outreach workers connect and engage with youth, up to the age of 25, meeting them where they are at. Early intervention is the key to building relationships with these vulnerable youths and assessing their needs, providing support through lay-counselling, reconnecting young people with family, encouraging them to work through the issues that brought them to the street is a focus of the work. Safety is a consideration that workers keep in mind when matching young people with other supports and services. The outreach team also provide individuals on the street with items needed to support their basic needs, which range anywhere from distributing food, water, clean clothes, or clean, unused harm reduction materials.
Watari’s Eastside Integrated Youth Team manages to maintain connections with services in the community that interact with youth but aren’t sure how to assist them in negotiating the systems that are specific to youth. Working collaboratively with Ministry of Children and Family Development, Vancouver Police Department, First United, Vancouver Native Health Society, Directions Youth Services Centre, Urban Native Youth Association, Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society, Youth Unlimited, Covenant House, as well as countless other service providers, the team attempts to interact quickly and respectfully with young people to create pathways to employment, housing, education, or home.
Aside from street outreach, the outreach team facilitates a youth drop-in at Vancouver Native Health Clinic which runs every Wednesday. This drop-in is run in conjunction with the clinic, UBC medical students, as well as other outreach providers to provide youth with a hot meal, groceries to go, support, and easy to access medical care. The team also runs a youth driven community kitchen (Youth Ultimate Community Kitchen, affectionately known as Y.U.C.K.) in conjunction with Directions Youth Services Centre outreach staff on Fridays with a focus on building life skills, food sustainability, and connection to community.
Recently, with support from the Home Depot’s Orange Door Award, the outreach team has been able to offer Indigenous cultural programming for youth. We began with making traditional hand drums and will later encompass rattles, looming, mocassins, beading projects, growing and harvesting traditional medicines, and later facilitating further drum workshops and drum groups.
For more information, please call either
Matt Jolliffe at 604.724.6737 or Krystal Jules at 778.926.4404
The Transitioning to Independence Program (TIP) is an 18-month housing subsidy program intended to support youth who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, who identify that drugs and/or alcohol use is or has been problematic for them, and who feel ready, with support, to live independently. The aim of the program is to support youth with working towards overall wellness, stability and integration into their community so that they are capable and feel confident in maintaining market housing on their own once they complete TIP.
TIP works in the community to support youth with finding and maintaining safe, affordable, market housing, while encouraging their continued commitment to their goals around substance use, life-skills, education and employment. TIP offers support with housing searches, viewing places to rent, communicating with landlords, outreach support, individualized wellness planning and life-skills training, group sessions focusing on life-skills and psychoeducational topics, connecting with education and employment support and opportunities, access to Food Bank, start-up supplies, and a rental supplement of up to $400 per month.
Who can participate?
Youth who:
Are between the ages of 16 – 24 years old (youth can start the program beyond this age range, as long as they have completed a referral before the age of 25 years old).
Are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Are willing to live in Vancouver, Richmond, or the North Shore. (The rental supplement is able to be used towards market housing only in these areas.)
Are in need of financial assistance (based on individual assessments).
Voluntarily wish to participate.
Are willing to attend regular one-to-one appointments with TIP Case Manager.
Are meeting regularly with an addictions counsellor or other mental health professional and have a treatment/recovery plan.
Are willing to attend monthly psychoeducational / life-skills group sessions.
Agree to follow the program guidelines.
Are working to become more financially independent.
Have a plan to work towards life goals, such as education and/or employment
While in the program, youth are expected to meet regularly with TIP Case Manager, meet regularly with an addictions counsellor or other mental health professional, attend monthly TIP group sessions, and work towards life goals. Life goals may include vocational, educational, recovery-based and other goals which support wellness, stability and integration into the participants’ community.
If you would like more information about the program, please contact Dustin, TIP Case Manager, at 604-782-9417
If you would like to make a referral to the program, please contact:
Central Addictions Intake Team (CAIT): 604-675-2455
Transitioning to Independence Program for Pregnant and Parenting Youth – TIP2 works in the community to help stabilize pregnant and parenting youth in safe, affordable housing while encouraging their continued commitment to their goal plan.
We offer – housing specific support including rent subsidy for market housing, house searching assistance, tenancy rights education and life skill development in securing and sustaining safe housing
one to one outreach support and advocacy
life skills workshops
connection to other community supports, and introduction to support systems such as food bank, low cost necessities
Who can participate?
pregnant or parenting youth between the ages of 16-24 years old
pregnant or parenting youth that live any where in the Lower Mainland
voluntary agree to follow the program guidelines
are willing to attend the mandatory life skills groups and one to one outreach appointments
For more information about the program, please call Lavern at 604-726-8852
Youth enrolled in the program who need to contact a TIP Outreach Worker, please reach out to following staff:
TIP 1 – Dustin can be reached at 604-782-9417 or via email dustin@watari.ca
TIP 2 – Lavern can be reached at 604-726-8852 or via email lavern@watari.ca
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