VANCOUVER, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Streetohome Foundation is delighted to
announce a $250,000 contribution today from Scotiabank towards finding
real solutions for homelessness in Vancouver. This gift will be used to
support an innovative program to address the needs of homeless or
at-risk youth with mental health and addictions issues.
"Scotiabank is dedicated to helping young people find the tools and
resources they need to build a foundation for success and reach their
goals in life," said David Poole, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon
Region, Scotiabank. "We are proud to support Streetohome Foundation
and innovative programs that address the needs of at-risk youth in our
Streetohome Foundation is committed to working with non-profit,
business, community, and government partners to find new approaches to
preventing and alleviating homelessness in Vancouver.
"One of the most significant risk factors for homelessness is mental
illness, and it's a key risk factor in youth homelessness," said Dick
Vollet, President of Streetohome Foundation. "Youth are a particularly
vulnerable group. Many young people leaving foster care are lacking in
education, skills, and a safe place to live. Their situation can be
complicated by developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and
physical health problems."
Youth homelessness is a growing issue in Vancouver. While the
preliminary count from the most recent Greater Vancouver Homeless Count
numbers shows that overall homelessness in Vancouver has decreased this
year, a total of 349 unaccompanied youth (under the age of 25) were
counted as homeless in 2011. This is a 29 percent increase since 2008,
when 270 homeless youth were identified.
Streetohome Foundation has earmarked this contribution from Scotiabank
for one of the leading organizations in youth homelessness in
Vancouver: Covenant House.
This funding will be used to support a program for homeless or at-risk
youth living with mental health and addictions issues. Youth are
supported by a team of Covenant House staff, the Inner City Youth
Mental Health Team and Coast Mental Health. Trained and highly
experienced staff will help create a safe housing environment, and
provide mental health and addictions evaluations, counseling and
psychiatric support, addictions management counseling, and group
activities that will help develop life skills.
Initially, the program will include 13 youth, with capacity expected to
increase in the future for up to 30 youth.
"Covenant House Vancouver's Semi-Independent Housing Program ensures
that our youths' mental health issues are diagnosed and treated, giving
them the stability and health required to access existing housing in
the community" said Krista Thompson, Executive Director at Covenant
House. She added "the support we are receiving from Scotiabank is
significant and clearly demonstrates their commitment to young people
and the issue of mental health; we are proud of this partnership and
the positive impact it will have for our youth."
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live
and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic
program, 'Bright Future.' Recognized as a leader internationally and
among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and
philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average
approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world
over the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.
About Streetohome Foundation:
Streetohome is dedicated to ensuring that residents of our city have
access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the support they need to
make a difference in their lives. Streetohome is the first organization
in Vancouver to take a systematic approach to addressing both
homelessness and its root causes. Learn more at www.streetohome.org.
About Covenant House:
Covenant House provides three core programs (street outreach/daily
drop-in, crisis shelter and a 6 - 24 months transitional living
program) for homeless and at-risk young people aged 16-24. Through a
carefully designed "continuum of care," Covenant House assists young
people from the moment when we first meet them on the street right
through to full independence when they graduate from our transitional
living program. All three programs are supported by in-house drug and
alcohol counsellors, mental health clinicians and access to
psychiatrists. Last year, over 1400 young people came to Covenant
House looking for a way off the streets. Visit us at www.covenanthousebc.org.
SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships
For further information:
Lindsay Yuasa, Streetohome Foundation
T: 604.629.2711 ext. 104