An under-examined aspect of safety for youth is being safe to be themselves in emotional and mental ways, and that includes having people in their lives who use the language that resonates with who they are – be that gender designations, names, or labels.
Despite what parents, teachers, and kids in the schoolyard have said for generations, sticks and stones may break my bones, but hateful words can leave deeper wounds that are slower to heal. And yet, many people resist something that costs them nothing: using respectful language.
In Victoria, the Greater Victoria School District has created a library of helpful resources for those who want to understand the terminology of sexual orientations, gender identity, and gender expression.
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.
“Every young person should have people in their life that they can count on unconditionally and interdependently. Youth in care need to feel that they belong, have worth and are valuable members of their communities” EQUITABLE STANDARDS FOR TRANSITIONS TO ADULTHOOD FOR YOUTH IN CARE – Pillar 4
It is no secret that stable housing is a key pillar in successful outcomes for youth. Census data from 2016 shows that nearly two-thirds (62.7%) of youth aged 20-24 still live with at least one parent, and almost 35% of youth aged 20-34 are living with at least one parent. The majority of Canadian parents provide ongoing housing support for their young-adult children, and these numbers are expected to continue to rise as the cost of living and inaccessibility of affordable housing increases. But what happens to youth whose parents can’t or won’t provide that support?
For the last several years, Threshold has focused in the spring on sharing the facts around youth aging out of government care on their 19th birthday. The late Katherine McParland, a leading youth housing advocate, once deemed aging out of care the “superhighway into homelessness” – a term that has proliferated. In the past three years, however, the government of BC has announced multiple funding and policy changes aimed at either creating off-ramps from that highway or relieving the housing crisis.
Jan 21, 2014 — Colliers International has been a part of the Victoria community since 1975. The firm is one of the leading commercial real estate companies in the world, with 500 offices worldwide. In Victoria alone, they manage 1.8 million square feet of commercial property.
In September of 2013, the Board of The Colliers Cares Foundation selected the Threshold Housing Society as the recipient of funds raised by the Foundation in 2013. The initiative was led by Linda Ryder of the Foundation and close to 30 Victoria office staff members participated in the funding drive.
Threshold is so grateful for The Colliers Cares Foundation support. The donation will go directly to supporting life-skills programs offered to all youth we house. The programs are based on self-worth and self-esteem building as the key to breaking down barriers to success — from learning proper hygiene to avoiding negative behaviours. This program receives no funding from either civic, provincial or federal sources. It is entirely dependent on private donations and companies like Colliers International that sees the value in investing in youth today who will form our community — and our world — tomorrow.
Our heartfelt thanks to Linda Ryder and the wonderful staff of Collier International (Victoria) for considering at-risk youth an important part of the community and offering them the help they need to realize their potential and achieve their dreams!
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