Hello everyone and Happy Spring!
YESS started 2020 with a very strong financial profile and a lot of excitement about the momentum we are gaining. We spent the winter months taking care of each other, celebrating some of our wins, and continuing to build upon our growing foundation of structure, processes, and trauma-informed practice. We have seen significant successes with the work of our Trauma Support Team (we have delivered over 100 individual therapy sessions and many informal group sessions since April 2019, and we have seen our EPS and crisis calls decrease) and we have been thrilled with the success of our new Youth Education and Employment Program that provides a low-barrier entrance into life, education, and employment skills as well as job shadowing and work experience with corporate community partners. We have also been working hard with our youth agency and homelessness partners to develop and improve our city strategy for the prevention of youth homelessness. In the coming year, we will begin initial planning around evolving YESS to fit within a municipal and provincial strategy for the prevention of youth homelessness. Prevention can be both early prevention (ensuring a young person never becomes homeless) and later prevention (ensuring a young person doesn’t become further entrenched in homelessness). At YESS, we are focused on late prevention—ensuring that the youth who visit us have the connections back to family or safe housing situations as well as life skills, emotional regulation, relationship building, and trauma healing support to help them safely and appropriately integrate into community.
As the sun shines and the new shoots and bulbs grow outside, we are furiously growing our capacity and our knowledge to prepare for the big work ahead of us.
This spring, I invite you to join us in our excitement about the future—celebrating is much more fun together!