For youth experiencing homelessness, the journey from chaos and crisis to stability often starts at one of Eva’s emergency shelter sites. At both Eva’s Place and Eva’s Satellite Hotel, youth receive immediate programming support day and night from our expert staff.
“The shelter is not the final destination for young people,” reflects Sophia Smith, Youth Support Worker. “It’s just where they’re at now.” Our emergency-based shelter programs offer a safe and reliable environment for youth in need. We meet the youth’s urgent food and shelter needs while also helping them stabilize through a focus on their health and well-being. Once youth have stabilized, they can begin to think about their next steps like finding housing and employment.
Staff emphasize that round-the-clock support is key to helping young people find stability. “Youth are struggling to cope with feelings of anxiety, depression, loss, and fear that can bubble up,” Kenisha Morales, Overnight Residential Supervisor explains. “We are here to support them through these difficult feelings, showing them that we care and that they are not alone.”
Challenges worsened by the pandemic have caused some youth who transitioned out of the shelter to return. “We saw one young person who lost their job due to pandemic restrictions, lose their housing in the community and return to Eva’s. We first helped them access emergency shelter at Eva’s Satellite Hotel and then were able to provide them with housing at Phoenix within weeks,” says Sophia.
While COVID-19 has placed additional strain on our staff and the young people we support, our approach remains consistent. Staff work hard to connect with each youth that comes through our doors. In building trust and rapport, youth can feel comfortable sharing their feelings of anxiety and fear, allowing us to help them better understand the impact of the traumas they have experienced.
“Even though a young person is struggling now, they don’t need to struggle for the rest of their lives,” says Kenisha.