SUPPORTING AT-RISK YOUTH

Paula Soper, Manager at Choices for Youth, St. Johns, NL

Paula Soper, Manager at Choices for Youth, St. Johns, NL

Community and Supportive housing has helped our community by providing a continuum of care to fill an identified gap of service for individuals who are experiencing mental health, addiction, and physical health barriers. These homes provide a foundation of support for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, ensuring they have a safe place to live and call home. By operating with a person-centered approach, individuals are able to build trusting relationships and access the supports necessary to live independently in our community. With stable housing and supports in place, individuals are able to focus on other areas of their lives that may be facing challenges – ultimately giving people a greater opportunity to set and achieve goals and reach their full potential. The overall impact of community and supportive housing can be substantial: individuals may resume working or enter the workforce for their first time; transition out of income support programs; provide family stability; gain better health; or simply improve their overall quality of life.

In addition to the clear social benefit, community and supportive housing also has systemic savings -- it cuts down on emergency room visits, prevents and reduces hospitalizations, and can decrease justice system involvement and other high-cost services that may be incurred by those struggling without supports. Perhaps most impactful is how community and supportive housing helps communities shift away from emergency responses and work towards prevention models. It provides opportunities for community organizations and governments to work collaboratively to influence change in innovative and impactful ways. In our community, supportive housing has assisted with guiding practices, influencing policies and system change, and demonstrating a willingness to work towards a common goal not only at a local level, but nationally and internationally. We are proud to offer community and supportive housing in support of individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thomas Veitch