Good Shepherd recognizes that sound guidance and unconditional support through the adolescent years are critical to success later on in life. Unfortunately, poverty, family conflict, mental health issues, abuse and neglect force thousands of our teenagers onto the streets where risks to health and safety are high and basic needs are not met.
Good Shepherd Youth Services is committed to helping youth get off the streets and back on track with a variety of programs and services ranging from emergency food and shelter through counselling to skills training and education.
Good Shepherd opened Brennan House in 1991, a 15-bed transitional housing program for youth 16 to 20 years of age. Brennan House supports youth in transition from homelessness to independence, and encourages the development of life skills, such as budgeting, problem solving, conflict resolution, anger management and other identified areas.
As part of the continuum of care, in 2008 Good Shepherd opened Brennan House ACTS (After-Care Transitional Supportive Housing). This six-unit apartment complex gives Brennan House graduates the opportunity to live independently, while still having access to staff depending on their individual needs.
Notre Dame House opened in 1998 to provide 24-hour emergency shelter and a multi-agency resource centre for homeless and street-involved youth. The six-week program uses a team approach that pairs each young person with a youth support worker who helps them reach their personal goals. In 2001, Good Shepherd opened a school at Notre Dame House to meet the educational needs of street-involved and homeless youth in the downtown core.
In 2008, Good Shepherd opened Angela’s Place, is home to young moms and their children. Mothers aged 21 and younger, who are confronted with enormous responsibilities as they raise their babies, live in one of 15 fully furnished, subsidized transitional housing apartments. Residents of Angela’s Place receive on-site support and programming including life skills, goal setting and child development training designed to break barriers for multiple generations. At the Jeanne Scott Parent & Child Resource Centre, next door to Angela’s Place, young mothers earn a higher education to break the cycle of poverty and better their chances of employment and independence. The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, in partnership with Good Shepherd, operates a school for the mothers, while on-site child minding is provided for their babies.
Jeb’s Place reflects Good Shepherd’s commitment to providing the earliest possible interventions for youth with a view to diverting them from future streetinvolvement and homelessness. Young people at Jeb’s Place are encouraged to develop life skills including budgeting, problem solving, conflict resolution, anger management and daily living skills. Residents are encouraged to assume responsibility for setting and following house rules and routines and for establishing and pursuing personal goals related to their education, community involvement and health and wellbeing.