BRIDGING the Gap (BTG), a voluntary program funded by the Region of Halton, Ontario, is serving Halton’s homeless youth, by providing outreach services to homeless youth. It is an excellent resource for youth age 16-24 who are in need of help to learn about housing, financial assistance, food and hygiene supplies, education and work.
During my recent volunteer shift with Bridging the Gap I leaned that BTG believes all youth have the right to information, to make their own choices, have a safe place to live, privacy and much more.
I had a chance to chat with a youth who was living in a shelter provided by them while volunteering at the booth. It was great to learn about the unpredicted situations youth may come across in their student years and the tough choices to be made like moving out of their parental home and arranging for day-to-day living, including survival plans and finding work, etc.
Under their Outreach Services umbrella, BTG offers voluntary programs where youth are encouraged to make informed decisions for themselves. Youth ages 16-24 get access to emergency supportive and independent housing, financial assistance, food and basic needs, alternative education and employment options.
Referrals can be made by phone or email by community professionals as well as youth themselves.
Host Home program is a home-based alternative to emergency shelters located in each major community of Halton (Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown and Acton) run by BTG. Youth can stay up to four months after being approved and are eligible to receive lodging and boarding facility including meals. They must agree to abide by curfews and house rules in place and are set by the host provider. This program helps youth in achieving their personal goals while maintaining a connection to their community.
Bridge House available in Burlington and Milton is a transitional housing program where youth can stay while paying rent of $350 per month under some extra terms and conditions up to 24 months. While living in transitional housing youth can take this opportunity to develop life and interpersonal skills in a safe, affordable environment.
Are you in need as per the circumstance listed above and looking for help? Contact them. They will meet you at a place in your community where you feel safe.
Please feel free to contact a youth outreach worker at the links provided below:
Phone: (905) 635-0663
Caption: Harnoor Gill with his team is supporting Bridging the Gap event at Home Depot in Milton.
BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 10 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary