Windsor Residence for Young Men

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Every young person deserves
to have a safe, nurturing home

There are approximately 65,000 homeless youth across Canada.

Of these youth:

 
  • Up to 80% make up what is referred to as the "hidden homeless" (couch surfing vs. sleeping on the streets)

  • 33% experience mental health issues (PTSD, depression, suicide)

  • the rate of suicide among homeless is 40x higher than national average

  • the average life expectancy for a homeless youth is 39

  • homeless youth are 127x more likely to die of preventable causes

  • the mortality rate for homeless youth is 8x higher than national youth mortality rate

  • 1/3 of homeless youth have been raped or beaten as a child (37% of sexual abuse victims under the age of 21 are male)

  • 63% grew up in a family that found it hard to maintain housing; 42% would describe their living arrangement as "chaotic"

  • 68% come from foster care and shelters

  • 40% of runaways stay on the street

  • 62% have dropped out of school due to lack of supports for street youth

  • 73% are unemployed

  • 71% have previous involvement with the criminal justice system

  • 41% experience substance abuse and 37% witnessed substance abuse in their home growing up

  • 67% participate in street culture which influences their ability to learn mainstream norms

  • males 15-24 experience the highest rates of victimization and are also the most active in crimes against property and of minor violence

  • there is growing evidence that LGBT youth are disproportionally represented among street youth

  • it costs $30,000/year to keep a youth in a shelter vs. $100,000/year in a detention facility

  • homelessness costs Canada $1.1 billion/year in emergency shelter, emergency hospital care and criminal justice costs vs. $800 million/year for supportive housing initiatives

 

(source: www.raisingtheroof.org)

THE NEED

There are approximately 65,000 homeless youth across Canada.

We are the only supportive housing for young men in Windsor-Essex County. The Salvation Army is intended for short-term emergency use and is aimed at adults 18 and over. The Inn of Windsor does provide emergency shelter for males 16-18, however, only females are eligible for the residential program. In speaking with both the Catholic and the Windsor-Essex District School Board, they estimate approximately 120 "couch-surfing" teen males in school in Windsor and Essex County who would benefit from these types of supportive housing projects.

Windsor-Essex County has a higher average of children and youth, drug use, unemployment, low income families, and poverty in comparison to the rest of province. In addition to increased costs of energy and food, there is high demand for affordable housing. Windsor has some of the highest vacancy rates for housing but is also experiencing extremely long waiting lists for individuals to obtain affordable social housing. A homeless youth can expect to wait up to 8 years for a single bedroom apartment.

Local research shows that there is a need for programs that specifically address the issue of male youth homelessness in Windsor and Essex County. These studies recommend safe, affordable, youth-specific housing that teaches life-skills while addressing issues unique to homeless youth (e.g. higher school drop out rates, literacy, substance abuse, sexual exploitation, poverty, and mental health). Supportive housing projects provide youth with the opportunity to learn and practice independent living skills in a safe and encouraging environment.

WRYM addresses this gap in services and provides supportive, transitional housing for young men 16-20 years of age who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless or who are living in an unacceptable environment or in a marginal situation without appropriate adult support. These men are able to focus on their education, seeking employment and learning valuable independent living skills.