Home Base Housing Project
Currently Pathways is collaborating with the Region of York to put together a full proposal for Regional Council review in the fall for our Youth Housing Project, which involves the Region building and owning the project, and Pathways operating it.
The Town of Richmond Hill has graciously extended their $1 Million commitment to the Youth Housing Project.
Living throughout York Region, on friends’ couches and in cars, in church basements and in the abandoned house down the street are teens with no place to call home. We don’t see them because they look like every other kid, but they’re homeless all the same. York Region youth as young as 12 will spend tonight out of sight, in temporary beds or staying in places that could cause them even greater physical and emotional harm.
These are children from every neighbourhood, class and culture. They may be depressed, in an abusive relationship, on drugs or failing out of school. They may be from middle-class homes, with supportive parents and every opportunity to succeed in life. Homelessness doesn’t discriminate. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, even our own sons and daughters end up on the wrong path and in crisis.
Shelter, Hope and Support
Our work is far from done. Homelessness remains a significant problem in Canada’s fastest growing region, where 10% of our friends and neighbours live in low-income households and one in every five households struggles to find affordable housing. Our young people are already paying the price for a community in urgent need of additional affordable housing and support services.
“In the morning I’ll sometimes find a kid sleeping on the porch. We’ll offer them a meal, shower, clean clothes, someone to talk to and the chance to find a job and a place to live. At 8:00pm, I lock the door again and hope they have somewhere safe to go.”
— Theron Cumberbatch, Team Leader, Pathways Home Base Drop-in Centre
Pathways is a regional leader in the delivery of innovative support services our young people need and deserve. But the urgent need for support doesn’t end when the doors close and our homeless youth compete for limited beds at the only two voluntary shelters in York Region (in Newmarket and Sutton) or in downtown Toronto, where the added risks are too great to count. As our community grows, so does the number of homeless and at-risk families. We have a responsibility to ensure our most vulnerable community members have shelter, hope and support right here within our own community.
The Vision We Share With Our Community
Our ambitious vision is Home Base Youth Housing Project, a one-stop complex where young people at-risk can access safe, supportive housing for the day, the night or as long as a year, together with Pathways’ full range of programs — clothing and food, personal support, family counselling, life skills training, education upgrading and job searching — designed to help them get back on their feet.
“Everyone deserves a place they can feel safe, accepted and supported. For youth at risk in York Region, that place is Pathways.”
Mark Zeidenberg, President, Inter-World Papers Overseas Ltd., Richmond Hill