Supporting and strengthening Essex County through locally-driven services, advocacy and strategic community partnerships.
In recent years, there has been extensive research in the area of youth homelessness both in Canada and internationally. We have seen a great deal of initiatives towards the movement to end youth homelessness. However, there is a lack of knowledge into the problem of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, and 2-spirited (LGBTQ2S) youth homelessness in Canada.
What we do know is that LGBTQ2S youth are overrepresented in youth homelessness; it has been estimated that approximately 25-40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ2S. However, this statistic came from one Canadian study, 14 years ago, and there is not much clarity or understanding what this number looks like today or how to begin scaling the problem of LGBTQ2S youth homelessness on a national level, when services do not collect data on youths’ gender or sexual identities.
We also know that LGBTQ2 youth are at a higher risk of homelessness due to homophobia and transphobia in the home and they often face the same discrimination in the shelter system. Queer and trans youth frequently migrate to Toronto because of the City’s LGBTQ2 friendly reputation and because service providers located outside of the city are often reluctant to admit LGBTQ2 youth into shelters and end up sending them to Toronto with the false promise that there will be support available. However, a high proportion of queer and trans homeless youth feel safer on the streets than in shelters due to homophobic and transphobic violence that occurs in the shelter system and because shelter providers are not fully prepared to deal with homophobia and transphobia.
Although we have this knowledge, still there is minimal support available and there are NO specialized housing initiatives that meet the needs of LGBTQ2 youth in Canada.
Teen Health is located at 1361 Ouellette and provides Primary Care and Counselling to youth between the ages of 12 and 24 years. Individuals come to us for Physical and Mental Health (individual and group counseling is available); Eating Disorders; Substance Abuse; Parent Support (support for parents and guardians of adolescents) and Pre and Post Natal for young moms.
The Welcome Centre Shelter exists to reduce the devastating impact of homelessness and poverty by providing safe emergency shelter and transitional supports to women and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Windsor Residence for Young Men. WRYM is a charitable organization designed to promote the emotional and temporal welfare of homeless male persons, 16 to 20 years of age, with the primary focus of reconciliation with their families.
The Windsor Youth Centre (WYC) is a surrogate living room to over one hundred and fifty youth. Where else is there to go? The youth always answer, "Nowhere." When it opened in October 2011, the WYC was the only drop-in centre for homeless and at-risk youth in Windsor-Essex . It still is.