Youth who progress to Tier 3 become full-time employees of Choices for Youth with all the rights and benefits of any other employee, including sick days, vacation days and family leave. Their salary increases to $15/hr. There are 5 youth in Tier 3.
Tier 3 youth work independently with contracting supervision from the Site Manager. They function effectively as a construction company bidding on projects within community, government and private sectors.
“Tier 3, our objective there is that becomes the point at which young people really can work independently. They’ve got the skills, they’ve got the drive, the motivation. We can—just like any contractor would—set them up with a set of tasks and a job to do and they can just go do it with minimal support.” —Sheldon Pollett, Executive Director, Choices for Youth
Homeless Hub Thoughts:
The Tier model is an excellent way for youth to develop their skills. It helps youth learn the basics before moving on to more challenging work.
It may be helpful to have clearly delineated expectations to define what needs to be attained in order to progress through the tiers (see Steps to Progress at Covenant House Vancouver in the Transitional Housing toolkit for an example).
The Tier 1 salary is higher than the provincial minimum wage, which provides encouragement for youth to engage with the program. Given the $2 increase with each tier there is significant incentive to move up in the Tiers.