To walk beside traumatized youth on their journey towards healing and appropriate community integration.

What We Do

Based in Edmonton, Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS) provides immediate and low-barrier overnight and day shelter, temporary supportive housing, and individualized wrap-around supports for young people aged 15–24.

We work collaboratively within a network of care focused on the prevention of youth homelessness by providing youth with the necessary supports to stabilize their housing, improve their wellbeing, build life skills, connect with community, and avoid re-entry into homelessness.

The Cycle of Unaddressed Trauma

Experiences such as addiction, mental illness, violence, victimization, criminal involvement, and more can create a trauma response that is difficult for youth to overcome and heal from. Developmentally, youth do not have the cognitive or emotional skills to process these experiences and are often frozen in survival mode. These responses can create barriers to positive community involvement and integration. Families, employment, relationships, and education can all be affected by their responses to trauma, which builds up more intense responses to more intense trauma experiences. At YESS we can help youth identify positive goals and provide them with immediate resources and supports to interrupt their trauma responses and build new, healthier life skills.

Youth Homelessness Prevention

Prevention refers to policies, practices, and interventions that either (1) reduce the likelihood that a young person will experience homelessness, or (2) provide youth experiencing homelessness with the necessary supports to stabilize their housing, improve their wellbeing, connect with community, and avoid re-entry into homelessness.

Our Focus

We focus on prevention and diversion out of homelessness. Prevention means providing proactive resources for youth and their caregivers before youth become homeless. Diversion means finding appropriate housing for youth before they become entrenched or as an exit out of homelessness.

We focus on healing trauma through relationship. Trauma has a negative impact on the physical, emotional, and developmental well-being of an individual. Among many other serious effects, trauma can have a lasting impact on the ability to develop healthy relationships.

We focus on walking beside youth to minimize falling through gaps. Barriers are policies or expectations that put resources out of reach of those who need them. These restrictions often prevent people from seeking help.

We focus on collaboration (with everyone). Collaboration means we work together with other organization and in line with local, provincial, and national plans to create a holistic approach to addressing homelessness.

About Our Logo

Meet Francis!

Francis is a swallow and he represents hope and renewal of life, as well as freedom! We hope that the bright colours represent our hope for the future.

The polygons represent that everyone is unique. We are all the building blocks that come together to form the whole!

YESS logo transparent background

Learn more about the YESS team

We’ve won a few awards!

Read our youth’s stories and successes

Did you know that YESS has been providing programs, resources, and support to youth in Edmonton for over 35 years?