The first step in dealing with youth facing homelessness is to help them find a safe roof over their head. This could be the Barbara Weider House or help to connect them with other housing service organizations in our community. The first priority is they need to be safe and inside for the night. In addition, we offer access to counseling and social and life skills programs to help our clients successfully rebuild their lives and transition to independent living and adulthood. The goal is to support vulnerable youth in rebuilding their lives and integrating back into their communities, as opposed to continuing down a path of homelessness that may lead to larger problems. Key to our approach is that the youth are provided with a range of support programs that will help them learn life skills, have positive relationships with peers and adults, and re-engage with school, employment training, and/or employment.
Examples of our Services
- 24-hour on-site supervision-we are there when you need help
- Cooking facilities
- Laundry facilities
- The community kitchen, cooking classes
- Common living room to gain social skills
- Counseling and life skills
- Life Coaching
- Coordination with other agencies/resources for additional support
- Workshops & therapeutic groups
- Customized individual plans
- Life Skills workshops such as: learn to cook; budgeting; gardening; household tasks; personal grooming; computer skills; fitness; health & wellness; employment skills; education skills; planning, and daily routines
Homelessness Prevention Programs
Our plan begins with the identification of youth at risk of homelessness. From the time we accept the youth as a client, internally or from the surrounding community. Then we begin to take a look at what took them from stability to instability and what ultimately led to them being at risk. These situations range anywhere from drug and alcohol addiction to mental illness including some congenital disorders. Most often, there are just disagreements between the youth, the caregivers, parents, guardians and even seniors within the household. More often than not, these disagreements are resolvable
and we have found success in the majority of cases we’ve been involved with. The safety of youth is our primary concern.
In this program, we are contacted and sometimes seek out empty nesters, those with larger homes or even those with just extra room to spare within their homes. There is a rigorous vetting process for the youth and the person looking to open their home to the youth. We provide opportunities for the home sharer and the potential new occupant to meet and get to know one another. Home Horizon develops a contract for both parties and once an agreement has been reached, we assist in the move. Home Horizon then becomes the representative for the youth by being an advocate and providing oversight so the home sharer and the one receiving the benefit always have a way to express their progress. This way, if there’s ever an issue, we can mitigate further issues and resolve the issue that has arisen. The last resort would be to remove the youth from the home and find a new one if possible. What makes the Home Horizon Host Homes Program different is that we don’t place those youth who are newly homeless into a Host Home, we have the second stage of transitional housing where a youth who has learned enough valuable life skills to make it on their own but still cannot be fully on their own without support.
Music Therapy Expression
- This program will run for 10 months and involve a 2-hour workshop once a week. This workshop will involve using music to explore mental health and emotional expression using different forms of music and different instruments. This will also include transportation to different musical venues to experience “open microphone nights”. We will have an instructor to facilitate each session.
Art Therapy Expression
- This program consists of modules that include numerous art supplies and expression through drawing, painting, sculpture and digital art. The clients/residents will be introduced to a different style of expression every 3 weeks. We have a volunteer to facilitate each session who is able to tie in the resident’s/client’s areas of concern to each art project.
- Some of the youth we encounter at Home Horizon have ongoing issues within the justice system. Because the vast majority of the youth do not have and cannot afford legal representation, we send a representative who is also an advocate for the youth to assist the youth while they are in court and explain what is happening while it’s happening. This has often assisted in avoidance of incarceration and has assisted with compliance with court orders and mandatory training.
Mental Health Awareness/Coping Skills
- This program addresses the current mental health capacity of each resident and their understanding of their current situation or specific issues that they’re having to address. Each week for 2 hours the resident or outreach client will be taught coping mechanisms and techniques to deal with the areas of concern and emotional intelligence. There will be guidance and assistance from the CMHA and the Program Committee of HH. 10 months of programming