In cities such as Toronto, Black youth are overrepresented in homeless shelters and transitional homes and face higher rates of housing insecurity and barriers to accessing long term housing due to the legacy of colonialism and anti-Black racism.
Eva’s YOUth Belong is an inter-dependent living program for Black youth experiencing homelessness or precarious living. The program provides Black youth leaving shelters with the lifelong skills and capacity to effectively navigate the systems that they will connect with daily, while rooting them in their communities and intersectional identities. It helps 50 young people transition out of homelessness into stable housing in the community by providing scattered site transitional housing and housing bursaries.
- Residents must be between the ages of 16 to 24 years old
- Residents must identify as Black (of African descent or origin, African Black Caribbean, African-Canadian, Canadians of African descent)
- Residents must be homeless, at risk of being homeless, or precariously housed
- Residents must be committed to making changes in their lives and working toward interdependence which includes:
- Have secured income from employment and/or social services (e.g. OW, ODSP, CAS)
- Have goals related to employment, career and/or education
- Have demonstrated life skills such as healthy relationships with family and friends, self- care, cooking, housekeeping, and financial literacy
- Have demonstrated goals to stay mentally and physically healthy
- Are working on developing your support system including supports from your community, family members, and friends
- Have goals on your next step(s) for housing
Developed by Eva’s Initiative, in partnership with the City of Toronto, Raising the Roof and community, the program centres the identity and intersectionality of Black youth, while housing young people in community-based, inter-dependent scattered housing and Eva’s managed properties across the city.