Article provided by Home Horizon
Homelessness is no place for our youth and the holiday season can be an especially difficult time for them. It’s not obvious while looking around, but you'd be surprised at the number of youth in our community who don’t have a home to go to tonight.
Sadly, the need is greater than ever with the costs of shelter and food at record high levels. The economic and social impacts of COVID-19 over the last two+ years have been devastating, particularly for vulnerable populations such as youth at risk of homelessness. Our reality is that youth experiencing homelessness is reaching crisis level proportions and the demand for our services in South Georgian Bay has never been greater.
Fortunately, the Barbara Weider House (BWH) is helping guide youth from homelessness to hope.
At the BWH we take care of their immediate needs and offer them the chance to change the direction of their lives. In addition to providing a safe, stable and affordable housing, we provide health and life skills education, mentorship, mental health expertise and individualized support plans for local, at-risk youth that help them to set realistic goals and teach them skills that last a lifetime. The BWH is the only facility in our community dedicated to serving homeless youth.
In response to the increased demand for our services, Home Horizon is pleased to announce that we were successful in completing a renovation this past year expanding from 6 bedrooms to 10 rooms, a 40% increase in the number of youth we can serve in house. This is a major accomplishment and will allow Home Horizon to impact more youth for decades to come.
During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic we hired a youth outreach worker to enable us to extend our reach beyond the walls of the BWH. Our youth outreach program continues to see an average of about 12- 15 individuals per month seeking service. We have recently seen a high number of young females who have been victims of sex trafficking, as well as young people being kicked out of their family home due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Through our outreach efforts, we have been able to successfully link youth to counselling services, family doctors, legal services, food supports and of course housing supports. Home Horizon also provides basics needs such as food cards, water, hygiene products, clothing and so much more. The program has been an incredible success to date. It helps one of our most vulnerable populations to avoid falling through the cracks.
Helping youth facing homelessness in our community is a costly business with staff onsite 24/7 to work with our clients. We need your help.
We are asking you to give a gift so that youth in our community with nowhere else to go can access supports to help them build a bridge in their life to a stable and healthy future.
Thanks to a matching donation of $30,000 from two of our long-time donors your donation will have DOUBLE the impact!
Every dollar YOU donate to Home Horizon’s Barbara Weider House will be DOUBLED. With your support, we have the chance to make real change in our community and help vulnerable youth transform their lives and move forward with their hopes, dreams and life opportunities.
Please feel free to listen to an interview from October 22nd, 2022 on our services and how, thanks to your generosity, we are making a positive impact in the lives of these youth (starts at minute 1:14).
“Home Horizon was not just a roof over their head, but thanks to all the staff there, they were able to get back on their feet, keep their job, complete high school and successfully move on to College. They would not have been able to do it without that support and encouragement.”
-Quote from a family member of one of the graduated youth
Best wishes for the upcoming Holiday Season from the Home Horizon team.