Youth Reconnect Program Profile “Making a Difference ­‐ One Step at a Time”

In Niagara, youth and community providers have identified the lack of ongoing support services to multi need homeless and at risk youth in both urban and rural communities. In 2008, the RAFT piloted a unique prevention program, Youth Reconnect, in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. Prior to this time, teens would have to leave their home communities and travel to a larger urban centre in order to access appropriate shelter services. Research shows that these youth are at their most vulnerable to addictions, sexual exploitation, violence, and criminal involvement during this transition time. Further research shows that the majority of homeless youth were students in a high school prior to becoming homeless and that chronically homeless adult were first homeless as teen and had not completed high school. Utilizing this research to address these issues, the RAFT first piloted and then successfully expanded the Youth Reconnect program beyond the Fort Erie to include Port Colborne, Welland, St. Catharines, and West Niagara.

Publication Date: 
Niagara, ON, Canada