In a world often marked by challenges and uncertainties, the impact of a single act of kindness can be profound, especially for youth in crisis.
Imagine your teenage self, but on your own and grappling with crisis because of family or community breakdown, mental illness, traumatic experiences, and often all of the above. YESS’ goal, first and foremost, is to ensure that young people have the help they need when they need it, and this means addressing a significant gap in the care system: 24/7 crisis support.
When youth are able to get appropriate resource with minimal barriers, we have found the average stay for a young person at YESS is 3.5 days and the majority are not staying longer than 13 days as we have been either able to get them back with family or into supportive or transitional housing.
The impact of this holistic approach cannot be underestimated. By providing 24/7 crisis intervention and connected support, we can break down the barriers that currently prevent many youth from accessing help or staying on the journey to wellbeing. For many, this will save lives.
In our programs, we have seen youth begin to heal with even one safe, connected relationship built with staff. In sessions with our Cultural Coordinator, space is intentionally made for youth to be themselves and share their struggles and dreams for the future. After sharing space with the Cultural Coordinator, youth report feeling that staff, and adults in general, are on their side. This change in demeanor is relief from not feeling alone in the world.
“I would be dead if it wasn’t for YESS. This is so serious, and it is not a joke. YESS helped me realize that I wasn’t just born to be a homeless person. That has been the hardest thing for me to do, is to change that mindset. When you are homeless it feels like you are worthless… When you are homeless it feels like no one else in society cares and getting over those feelings is still a struggle. So yeah, the staff at YESS, they help save people.”
– Tom, former YESS youth
The transformative power of one act of connection has a ripple effect through the interconnectedness of our communities. The chain reaction may be seen more immediately, such as alleviating the pressure on our emergency departments and police services, and even long into the future, such as reducing chronic adult homelessness.
You can be part of this ripple effect. Ensure that there is always a light on for youth in crisis in our community.