NIȽ TU,O Child and Family Services Society (NIȽ TU,O) has partnered with Threshold Housing Society (THS) to expand safe housing and support services for local Coast Salish youth, who are affiliated with NIȽ TU,O, and are at-risk of experiencing homelessness.
NIȽ TU,O is a Coast Salish run agency working to strengthen families and keep kids in the Seven member Coast Salish communities they serve. THS works to prevent homelessness by providing safe housing, support services, and community to at-risk youth, aged 15-24 years old.
Through this partnership, THS will now have NIȽ TU,O’s support in the creation of culturally inclusive spaces that will help provide safe housing, support services, and community to Indigenous youth living in and around the Greater Victoria area.
The need for increased support for Coast Salish youth is critical. Currently, THS serves an over-representation of Indigenous youth. More than 30% of youth THS serve identify as Indigenous, which can be directly linked to the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in government care. Threshold and NIȽ TU,O both share the understanding the escalated experiences of Indigenous youth homelessness can be attributed to the lived experiences of colonialism, dispossession, and intergenerational trauma.
The intergenerational trauma that results from residential schools has large impacts on Indigenous youth and children today. Impacts that include family violence, crime, substance use, and more children entering the child welfare system (Truth and Reconciliation Commissions of Canada, 2015). Research shows that many Indigenous youth that end up unsheltered have moved many times while growing up. Most did not live with their biological parents and many even moved cross country, exacerbating already significant displacement.
As a non-Indigenous agency, Threshold takes the cultural safety of Indigenous youth very seriously and is thrilled to have NIȽ TU,O’s partnership in creation of culturally inclusive spaces that will help provide safe place to call home, increase culturally relevant supports, and accelerate access to THS’s Forrest House re-development project.
NIȽ TU,O and Threshold Housing are pleased to unite in their common vision to ensure an equitable transition to adulthood for Indigenous youth within the Greater Victoria region. This new partnership with THS is one of many strategic initiatives NIȽ TU,O has put in place to enhance levels of support for the members of the Seven Coast Salish Member Nations they serve.
“Threshold Housing Society has a commitment to increasing the cultural support available to Indigenous youth and takes the cultural safety of Indigenous youth very seriously. This partnership will allow the creation of culturally inclusive spaces that will help provide safe housing, support services, and community to Indigenous youth” states Colin Tessier, Executive Director at Threshold Housing.
“This partnership with Threshold begins to repair the gaps in support that Coast Salish youth experience. It’s a good beginning in enhancing access to resources based on the actual lived experience of unhoused and at-risk Indigenous youth. This initiative is just another way we are working to keep our Coast Salish kids safe” shares Katharina Stocker, Executive Director at NIȽ TU,O.