While Threshold’s key focus will always be on providing safe homes, community, and support for youth, we recognize that without system change we are merely a small bucket trying to capture a waterfall. For that reason, within our areas of influence and expertise Threshold also advocates for policy and systems change at multiple levels.
Within Greater Victoria, staff from Threshold sit on no fewer than 20 committees, working groups, task forces, and communities of practice. Executive Director Colin Tessier is an active member of the national learning community on youth homelessness hosted by A Way Home Canada, and through that connection is able to advocate at both the provincial and national levels. The leadership team also connects with other organizations by sharing our learning at regional, provincial, and federal conferences.
Threshold Housing Society is an advocate for youth in Victoria. We work to improve policies for youth leaving government care through engagement with multiple levels of government and education for the greater community. Threshold’s annual campaigns for youth aging out of care, 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, and events focused on harm reduction for youth help the broader community. These activities often include media content, community events, and participation at conferences.
Threshold’s four areas of advocacy are:
Funding for youth housing
Many of the federal & provincial governments’ funding announcements don’t consider the specific needs of housing for youth.
Without funding that is specifically targetted for the supported and supportive housing that youth need to develop their whole selves, the crisis of youth homelessness will not end.
Aging Out of Care
As this campaign shows, despite announcements from the BC Ministry for Child and Family Development, far too many former youth in care continue to have difficult transitions to adulthood.
We will continue to represent these youth and to fight for the support they deserve.
Harm Reduction for Youth
Parents, teachers, and social service staff – not to mention the community at large, must face the reality of underage substance use.
Harm reduction keeps youth alive while they learn the skills to sustain the level of sobriety that provides what they want for their lives, and we will continue to talk and teach about it.
Youth Homelessness Prevention
Without real action to prevent youth homelessness, all plans to end homelessness are doomed to failure.
We will continue to research & implement practices and programs that prevent youth homelessness and will share our learnings with other youth service providers.