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Starling Community Services.

Life Launch Expands its Programming: Youth Homelessness Prevention

By Sarah Marie
on June 7, 2023
Life Launch Update

Many young people between the ages of 16 and 18 in Waterloo Region are faced with living on their own without family or natural supports to lean on. With the added post-pandemic difficulties of both a housing and mental health crisis, support is needed now more than ever and it’s even harder when youth feel like they have no one and nowhere to turn.

But they are not alone, and there are people in their corner who want to help.

With generous donations of $3.4 million from the community, more supportive space for youth in crisis and experiencing homelessness in our region will be available as our Life Launch program expands from two to six more beds.

Renovations to the space at Life Launch are underway which include upgraded washrooms, an overhaul of the HVAC system, updated lighting, and painting to help create a more welcoming, safe space. We are also adding a comfortable lounge space for youth to socialize, study and participate in programs.

Life Launch is primarily funded through donations and helps youth who have accessed Safe Haven’s Crisis Services and are looking for long term housing. Staff work with youth to help them develop life and social skills to prepare them for independent living. Resources and supports are provided for youth to understand and manage their health needs, to attend school and to explore employment opportunities. Once housed, staff continue to provide youth with wrap-around community supports to maintain their housing.

“We’re very grateful to these generous donors for making this happen,” shared Lindsey White, Program Supervisor at Safe Haven Youth Services and Life Launch. “This exciting renovation will add extra support for kids so they feel less alone and more prepared to live independently.”

Thanks to these gifts, Life Launch can help more youth in crisis, giving them a safe place to stay while working towards long-term independent housing that is backed by a network of support and life skills they can always lean on.

"Since being housed, I have been able to work towards many of my goals, I have addressed my health concerns, and I have been able to strengthen many of my relationships. I am very grateful for Lutherwood's help."