Every evening that we are open, we offer a drop-in period where we serve the youth a meal, nutritious snacks and provide toiletry supplies. For many youth, this will be their only meal of the day where they get to sit down in a safe environment and feel worth by being served, plus get necessary supplies to help them maintain a healthy hygiene.
Serving them food offers us the opportunity to start building relationships and trust. In time, many youth will feel comfortable in having honest conversations with staff and volunteers.
We offer a relatively low-key environment with engaging activities readily available. These include board and card games, movie nights, arts and crafts and occasional special theme nights. A strong emphasis is put on building healthy relationships. Help is also provided in the form of low-key mental health support, conflict management and pastoral care with informal referrals being made to deeper community support where indicated.
Youth from all backgrounds, religions and cultures have always been welcome. We offer a respectful, temporary safe environment where the youth will not be judged nor rejected.
We provide a safe emergency refuge from nightfall to morning, five nights a week for homeless youth, both young men and young women between the ages of 16-24. This allows us to closely monitor those who do come to us intoxicated or are under the influence of drugs. Our staff are trained to help avoid possible overdose situations and to call for medical attention when required. Restoring Hope Ministries is there for youth during their crises instead of them being alone on the streets.
The shelter is manned by staff and volunteers who provide security and also develop relationships with the youth. The youth who stay at the shelter are provided with various toiletries, a clean bed, and healthy snacks. In the morning the youth have the opportunity to grab something for breakfast before they leave and we give them each a bag lunch to take with them.
Youth are also connected to resources within the city in order to help them find housing, finish school, or obtain help for addictions and mental health problems. Volunteers are trained on building meaningful encounters with each youth, earning their trust and speaking words of hope and encouragement.
Combining Our Resources Effectively (C.O.R.E.)
The C.O.R.E. program has grown steadily since 2018, requiring it to be divided and customized to better serve our clients and community needs.
This bilingual program addresses the gaps in our current healthcare system related to substance abuse and addiction. The program emphasizes care, self-worth and a harm reduction approach with a gradual reduction of substance use during the waiting period.
The program workers are committed to advocating for youth who use our drop-in and/or our overnight services by managing concerns, crisis intervention, one-on-one counselling and encouraging the development of personal strengths and self-esteem.
Housing Support Initiative
This short-term support initiative is provided to youth who are moving into their own accommodation from unstable housing, homelessness, or couch surfing and have accessed our services for at least 4 weeks within the past 12 months. The support can be provided to a single individual, a sole support parent or a family in which clients must volunteer to participate in the program.
A case worker will work alongside youth to assist with acquiring all household items and furniture to make it a home and will coordinate with a variety of partners. We have partnered with Matthew House Furniture Bank for this initiative.
Many parents in our city need support and encouragement as they face the challenges of substance abuse and mental health problems with their own children. C.O.R.E. for Parents program provides the tools needed to empower parents and to ensure that they do not feel alone. The role of the workers is to educate, equip and guide parents through the challenges being faced by their youth utilizing various methods and resources.
The goal of this supportive program is to help prevent youth from becoming homeless by getting them help early on in their journey.