Young Women's Shelter

This program offers young women aged 16 to 20 immediate access to safe housing. Open 365 days a year, the Evelyn Horne Young Women’s Shelter is always ready to welcome youth with nowhere else to turn. The shelter has 30 beds and offers both emergency shelter and transitional housing for up to a year.

A lesbian/bisexual/transgender positive and culturally sensitive environment, the shelter provides a safe place for all young women. But it’s much more than a place to stay. Each young woman discusses her unique situation with shelter staff, who work with her to identify her needs and connect her with the services she may need to achieve independence. A diverse, all-women staff team is on hand to support young women 24 hours a day.

Young women who lack family support are connected with youth workers who help them develop a full “community plan” and get the skills they need to live independently. While participating in programs designed to help young women set goals and work towards them is encouraged, it is not necessary. All youth have the choice simply to have their basic living needs met, or to pursue opportunities to secure long-term housing and improve their lives.

The shelters also help young people remain healthy by offering information on sexual health and addictions, within a safe and non-judgmental environment.

For young women aged 16 to 21, transitional housing is offered for stays of up to one year. These units give youth the opportunity to live semi-independently while they work towards their goals.

How to access the program

Young women in need of a place to stay can call the Young Women’s Shelter directly to inquire about availability. The shelter is centrally-located.

By phone: 613-789-8220
By email: shelter@ysb.ca

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Milo's Story

Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.

Milo*

*While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy