Generously supported by:
Services for Transitional Age Youth
The LOFT Transitional Age Youth Program (TAY) seeks to fill the significant gaps that exist between child and adult services sectors, and between hospital and community-based services. TAY serves nearly 600 at-risk youth a year, both male and female, aged 16 to 26. This program offers support and case management for youth mental health issues and youth addictions, and assists homeless youth in finding safe and affordable housing.
LOFT youth programs follow the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery models, and seek to harness each youth’s own personal strengths in order to encourage independence. Our programs aim to develop an empathetic, hopeful and continuous relationship with each client, taking a holistic approach to ensure each client receives services appropriate to his or her individual needs.
TAY Programs welcome all youth regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The TAY team is committed to operating from an anti-oppressive framework, fostering an environment of equity and inclusion by acknowledging how diverse identities intersect to contribute to unique experiences of marginalization.
Staff practice the belief that there is no wrong door, helping youth navigate the social services and health care systems to find the support and services they need. If the TAY Program is not right for them, TAY staff work to identify and link youth with more appropriate services.
LOFT TAY Program Principles
LOFT Programs for at-risk youth value the following principles:
- When given trust and responsibility, youth can transform their lives and each other.
- All aspects of care, including intake, assessment and goal setting, must be geared to youth.
- Youth respond to engagement and support.
- Youth respond to a holistic approach that embraces mind, body and soul.
- Mental health and substance abuse issues are best addressed within a trusting relationship that allows youth to leave and re-enter the relationship over time.
- Services must span a range that will fit specific needs that will change over time.
- Youth are more likely to engage, share and come back when services are non-judgmental.
- Staff recognize that they are supporting youth on a path of discovery about themselves and what they want from life.
Youth Case Management or Coordinated Care services are the central pillar of the TAY Programs, offering community-based support and providing system navigation and advocacy to link youth to needed services and resources. Our case managers are mobile, meeting with youth in their preferred surroundings in the community, rather than requiring youth to appear at an office for an appointment. They assist at-risk youth in meeting the needs of all areas of their lives and help them get the medical, financial, emotional, employment and recreational supports they need to be healthier, happier and independent.
Youth Supportive Housing is available at LOFT in a range of housing models, from the high-support group homes at Beverley Lodge and Ingles House with staff on-site 24/7, through a medium support option with staff available at regular times each day, to low-support housing where youth live together and manage their homes co-operatively, practicing the skills of independent living, without ongoing staff presence.
The Community Evening and Weekend Treatment Program was launched in 2014 and is a partnership between LOFT, CAMH and Sick Kids. Research shows that young people with mental health and addiction issues are most vulnerable during early evening and weekend hours. There were no youth oriented support groups available during these times until now. This program supports about least 130 youth a year.
Campus Substance Use Strategy is a unique initiative funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and offered in partnership with Ryerson University, George Brown College and OCAD University. Campus Recovery Groups are open to students who feel that their substance use may be interfering with school, work, relationships or other areas of their lives.
TAY also offers DBT Skills Groups, ACT Informed Recovery Groups, Life Skills Groups and Saturday Social Groups. For more information on these and other TAY initiatives, please contact the program directly at
The Transitional Age Youth Program links directly with other LOFT programs to provide additional and specialized services and a range of supportive housing options.
For more information visit these other LOFT program pages: Wilkinson Housing and Support Services, Beverley Lodge (for young men), Ingles Housing and Support Services (for young women) and LOFT Youth Peer Support Housing.
For info on applying to a Transitional Age Youth program, please go to our Need Services page.
Read Beth’s Story – a client of the Transitional Age Youth Program.