Our objectives are:
To maintain the health and safety of youth experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
We achieve this objective by providing hot meals, food hampers, clothing, hygiene products, and advocacy to the youth who frequent our services. We also maintain health and safety by means of “community outreach.” Our Outreach Workers are on the streets daily meeting the youth where they’re at. In the evenings, our drop-in facility provides an environment for people to challenge and change their value systems. Here, youth are given the support they need to understand their options, and to take the necessary steps to break the cycle of homelessness. In April 2010, we opened a ten (10) bed emergency shelter. Although we were already aware of the need for youth-specific shelter in K-W, the Region of Waterloo’s Homelessness Report supported our insight. This gap in services was somewhat lessened by the opening of our co-ed emergency shelter. Our shelter has since grown to 17 beds.
To support and enable youth to get off the streets by providing resources and services needed to inform and educate.
oneROOF provides youth with the opportunity to acquire, life skills training, anger management workshops, recreational and sports opportunities, crisis counseling and referrals, therapeutic craft/art work, education groups, advocacy, family mediation, substance abuse education/referral/treatment/aftercare, emergency shelter, and referrals. Our Outreach Workers are also available to accompany youth to necessary appointments (eg. court, Ontario Works, medical appointments, other community resources, etc).
To educate the public regarding homelessness, street youth, street life, and related issues.
This educational and prevention component is provided by way of community forums, public speaking engagements, media relations, and the distribution of relevant research.
To carry out prevention work targeted at youth, particularly those in junior and senior high school levels.
oneROOF staff and youth frequent the local high schools and provide “Reality Check” sessions to youth who are at-risk and to youth in general. This program informs youth about the realities of homelessness, dispels the myths often associated with life on the streets, and affords us the opportunity to link with youth who are at risk of homelessness.
To provide an opportunity for youth to gain access to medical attention and treatment.
Often youth experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are without the means to secure health cards and/or various forms of identification. A registered nurse, from the Downtown Community Health Centre, offers weekly appointments to youth who are suffering from various medical conditions and/or who are need of medical treatment. It is important that youth receive immediate attention when wounds are sustained or illnesses occur.