April Message from Margo

We are entering an era of change at YESS as we come out of winter, out of some of the most intense realities of the pandemic, and after integrating the learnings of our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and our work within the Youth Agency Collaboration.

Throughout our 43 years, YESS has embraced the spirit of evolution and continuous improvement to be able to provide youth with the help they need when they need it and where they need it. We have transformed from an overnight emergency shelter to being a collaborative partner in a community of youth care leveraging more than 30 youth agencies. 

In 2018, we created an in-house trauma and mental health support program with our Wellness Integration team of psychologists and support practitioners. In 2021, YESS restructured our overnight shelter program to 24/7 access. In 2023, we moved our daytime primary medical care clinic, navigation staff, and resources from the Armoury Resource Centre to our Whyte Ave building to share space with our 24/7 crisis intervention and stabilization program and reduce barriers to access for youth. 

And now, as of spring 2024, we will be focusing entirely on our new 24/7 intake and assessment programming to use our expertise in what we see in the urgent need for crisis support. Because of this focus on what we do best and our consolidation of 24/7 help and safe sleeping with our resource and health supports, we are closing our Shanoa’s Place supportive housing location as of April 1, 2024, and will return the Connaught Armoury location to the City of Edmonton later this year. 

None of these changes are a result of organizational emergencies, but rather a direct move towards a more strategic and intentional component of the larger Youth Agency Collaboration strategy for youth in crisis in our city and province. We have had these changes in mind for a long time and now, with a developed strategy and validating evidence, we are now in a place to make them a reality. 

One thing that has stayed constant over these 43 years is the impact of our community of support. Thank you so much for continuing to advocate for youth!