Services for Transitional Age Youth
Some of our Youth worked in collaboration with staff and other partners to create “My _______”, a “bullet journal” – style resource – like a handbook to surviving and thriving in the pathways out of the marginality of homelessness. Download your copy for free by clicking on the image!
The LOFT Transitional Age Youth Programs (TAY) provides access to services on a voluntary basis for youth under 26 years who live with mental health, physical health and substance use challenges. We provide individual and group counselling, social drop-ins, case management/community support, a wide range of housing alternatives, and 24hrs phone and text support to our clients. We serve young people from a wide range of diverse gender, racial and cultural communities and make every effort to provide an equitable, non-judgemental environment for youth to receive support and build independence.
Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Model
TAY programs operate utilizing the principles of psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery model. We take every opportunity to promote client inclusion at all levels of service. We emphasize strengths, resilience and acknowledge how lived realities intersect from an interpersonal, community and systemic level to impact the journey of recovery. We employ peer support workers who are past clients of TAY and who have graduated from our services; they harness their resources and channel their experiences into wisdom for current services users.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
TAY programs welcomes youth from all diverse cultural communities regardless of aspects of race, religion, ethnicity, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
The TAY team is committed to operating from an anti-oppressive framework. Within this framework we foster an environment of equity and inclusion by acknowledging how diverse identities intersect to contribute to unique experiences of marginalization. Within our individual and group work we promote inclusion through agency policies, challenging oppressive systems, and by making every effort to include clients at all levels of organizational practice, including hiring in our peer mentorship program.
LOFT TAY Program Principles
LOFT Programs for 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.
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 email@example.com.
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.