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Calgary organizations expanding housing program for at-risk youth

A photo of Boreal Place, taken in 2022. The project was a 25-unit supportive living facility for homeless youth working to escape the challenges of downtown Calgary. A photo of Boreal Place, taken in 2022. The project was a 25-unit supportive living facility for homeless youth working to escape the challenges of downtown Calgary.
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Calgary community organizations are expanding a housing program for youth at risk of homelessness.

Dozens of youths will be welcomed to the Orion Building starting Monday.

Inside the building, located at 1118 16 Avenue S.W., the Trellis and HomeSpace Society will support up to 46 youth through several programs and services, including skill-building and transitional and affordable housing units.

“Together we are creating brighter futures for the next generation of Calgarians,” said HomeSpace CEO Bernadette Majdell.

Back in 2021, Trellis launched a year-long Boreal Place youth housing pilot project when they identified a group who were “repeat-shelter users with complex needs, had high public systems use and deep entrenchment in street life.”

Trellis CEO Jeff Dyer says this project, funded by the Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services, marked a turning point.

“Most of these (11) youth made significant strides in building support networks, boosting their overall health, and greatly reduced interactions with law enforcement, gangs and harmful behaviours,” he said.

“It's a testament to the incredible potential of each individual and the power of support and opportunity."

Since that pilot, Trellis has renamed the project to "The Raven," funded through a collaboration between Children and Family Services and the Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services.

Twelve highly complex youth will receive holistic housing support, meaning their basic needs will be a focus for staff.

In addition, 34 affordable housing units will be available for youth at risk of, or experiencing homelessness.

“Youth and young adults deserve every opportunity to have a successful future,” said Searle Turton, minister of children and family services.

“That's why Alberta's government is proud to work with Trellis Society to help youth transitioning into adulthood develop the skills they need to gain independence and thrive within their community.”

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