The Department of Community Services is providing $1.1 million in funding for youth transitional housing to the Portal Youth Outreach Association. The Transitional Housing Program will have three houses, one each in Windsor, Kentville, and Middleton. The program will support 14 youth, aged 16-21, who are homeless or precariously housed. The houses will open fall of 2021 and young people can safely stay for three months to three years, depending on their needs and their capacity to transition to permanent housing.
The program will address the lack of affordable, accessible, and supported housing options for youth. Currently, no youth transitional housing is available in the Annapolis Valley from Windsor to Annapolis Royal. Transitional housing is the entry phase, with the second phase being a Host Home or the Supported Independent Living Program.
Russ Sanche, Executive Director of The Portal Youth Outreach Association, notes, “I can think back to young people that are now in their early 20s that would have been greatly impacted by having this kind of support when they were transitioning from couch surfing (homelessness) to permanent housing. Transitional housing enables us to provide extra support and take the time to rebuild and instill confidence for youth to take those steps that most of us take for granted between the age of 16 and 21 years of age. We look forward to engaging with the community with a furniture drive and assistance with basic renovations at each site in Windsor, Kentville, and Middleton.”
In alignment with the Homeless No More Strategy and the developing housing continuum of support, the Youth Transitional Housing Program will significantly contribute to the mandate to see that all youth have a safe, supportive, and nurturing home. Each house will have 4-6 youth supported by partner agencies and a live-in house mentor. Onsite supervision, support, and programming are part of the wrap-around support services youth will receive.