Youth with a history of trauma are at higher risk for negative outcomes later in life and delays in developing basic life skills. Youth who also have disabilities, both visible and invisible, face additional challenges with their emerging adult development. These lived experiences can lead to a reduced “window of tolerance” for stress which impacts different aspect of their lives including healthy relationships, employment, housing stability, and substance use.
When youth actively engage with their transition to adulthood, supports need to be in place to meet their needs (as discussed throughout this blog series).
For youth turning 19, transitioning out of care needs to be exactly that – a transition, not a cut off. Gradual reductions in support for youth allows them to develop their life skills while still receiving the support they need to achieve positive outcomes.
Threshold Housing Society recognizes the value that all youth have as emerging adults and works to support youth in adult development through stable housing and support programs that extend to age 24. Throughout their time with Threshold, youth have access to a range of services including the Foundations Program, which teaches financial literacy, interpersonal relationships, tenant rights and responsibilities, meal planning/shopping, and much more. This program also provides one-off workshops on cooking, gardening, Indigenous culture, creative expression and other subjects based on youth interests.
Youth in Threshold homes receive 6-12 months of transition planning with dedicated workers. Transitions can include moving into other affordable housing (often in collaboration with the Greater Victoria Housing Society) or transferring rental leases to youth enrolled in the SHY program.
Threshold does not evict youth into homelessness, regardless of age. After youth move out of Threshold housing, they have access to after-care as they identify the need. The Intake Team follow up with graduated youth at 6, 12, and 18 months to ensure they have the supports they need.
For all youth, approaching adulthood can be an overwhelming experience. For youth with lived experiences in government care, adulthood can be retraumatizing as they often face life without the skills and support needed for positive outcomes.