B.C.’s Renfrew House helping youth shift from government care into adulthood (Inner City Youth Mental Health Program)
At 20, Jordan Williams has his own room in a comfortable house, a housekeeping schedule that involves him in making meals, and social workers to give him the support he needs to finish his Grade 12.
His current home – Renfrew House, a six-bedroom home in East Vancouver for youth aged 18 to 24 – has become a safe landing after he “aged out” of his provincially funded apartment and the on-and-off stays in homeless shelters before that. It’s a spot few in his position are fortunate enough to find.
“That’s such a common story – from one day to the next, they’re homeless, because their youth agreement has ended or their ministry coverage has ended,” says Dr. Steve Mathias, a psychiatrist at Providence Health Care’s Inner City Youth Mental Health Program. “And often you see this steep decline.”
Wendy Stueck reports.