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YOUTH PROGRAMS

EASTSIDE INTEGRATED YOUTH OUTREACH TEAM

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.

YOUTH EXCELLING AND ATTAINING HOUSING (YEAH!) PROGRAM

The Youth Excelling and Attaining Housing (YEAH!) Program is an 18-month housing subsidy program intended to support youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, have other identified risk factors, are in financial need, and feel ready, with support, to live independently.  The aim of the program is to support youth with working towards overall wellness, stability, and integration with their community so that they are capable and feel confident in maintaining market housing on their own once they complete the YEAH! Program.

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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.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW?
For more information, please call either
Matt Jolliffe at 604.724.6737 or Krystal Jules at 778.926.4404

YOUTH EXCELLING AND ATTAINING HOUSING (YEAH!) PROGRAM

The Youth Excelling and Attaining Housing (YEAH!) Program is an 18-month housing subsidy program intended to support youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, have other identified risk factors, are in financial need, and feel ready, with support, to live independently. The aim of the program is to support youth with working towards overall wellness, stability, and integration with their community so that they are capable and feel confident in maintaining market housing on their own once they complete the YEAH! Program.

The YEAH! Program works in the community to support youth with finding and maintaining safe, affordable, market housing, while encouraging their continued commitment to their goals around mental wellness, physical wellness, life-skills, education, and employment. The YEAH! Program offers support with housing searches, viewing places to rent, communicating with landlords, outreach support, individualized wellness planning, learning life-skills, group sessions focusing on psychoeducational and life-skills topics, connecting with education and employment support and opportunities, access to Food Bank, start-up supplies, and a rental supplement of up to $450 per month.

Who can participate?

Youth who:
• Are between the ages of 16 – 24 years old (youth can start the program beyond the age of 25, as long as they have completed a referral before they turn 25 years old).
• Are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
• Have other identified risk factors.
• Are in need of financial assistance (based on individual assessments).
• Are willing to live in the metro Vancouver/greater Vancouver area.
• Are willing to attend appointments with the YEAH! Program Case Manager at least once per month.
• Are willing to attend YEAH! Program monthly psychoeducational/life-skills group sessions.
• Are connected with at least one other professional whom provides them with support. They must meet with this person at least once per month. This may be a counsellor, psychiatrist, social worker, mental health worker, support worker, employment counsellor, or other professional.
• Are working towards becoming more financially independent.
• Have a plan to work towards life goals, such as education and/or employment.
• Agree to follow the program guidelines.
• Voluntarily wish to participate.

While in the program, youth are expected to meet with the YEAH! Program Case Manager at least once per month, meet with another professional support at least once per month, attend YEAH! Program group sessions at least once per month, and continually 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 – YEAH! Program Case Manager: 604-782-9417

If you would like to make a referral to the program, please refer by one of the following options:

• You can fill out the referral form online or print it out and complete it by hand. Watari YEAH Program Referral Form  After you have completed the form, please submit it using one of the following methods:
o Email the form to Dustin@watari.ca
o Fax the form to 604-254-6985
o Drop-off the form at the Watari office at 678 East Hastings in Vancouver
• You can also call the YEAH! Program Case Manager at 604-782-9417 and the referral form can be completed verbally over the phone.

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