“One-To-One Peer Mentorship” Grant
Giving people the confidence and ability to stand on their own two feet is a common thread that characterizes many social service programs. It’s particularly vital for homeless and at-risk youth to prevent their slipping into a lifelong cycle of relying on assistance to make do. Thankfully, there are programs like Eva’s Initiatives that provide these groups with the sort of dedicated attention they require to overcome these challenges.
Eva’s “Phoenix” program provides homeless youth with stable housing for a year, and employment and training programs, so they can gain practical experience in a field of interest. The Counselling Foundation of Canada awarded a grant to Eva’s for the ‘One-to-One and Peer Mentorship’ program, which provided much needed life and employment skills counselling. This ‘wraparound’ approach to providing support on a number of different levels helps them transition from a culture of reliance to one of self-sufficiency.
Along the way participants receive work experience and counselling, which ranges from life skills sessions, workers’ rights and budgeting, to anger management, conflict resolution, substance use and nutrition – all of which combine to strengthen character and encourage smarter choices.
The Foundation was particularly interested in seeing the influence of this sort of one-toone mentoring program expand to a much broader audience. The sense of trust and dedication that is inherent to the program’s design offers is a model that can migrate to provinces and jurisdictions throughout Canada.