Our Program

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What is Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM)?

Supportive housing, parenting support and life skills development for young mothers ages 16 – 24 who are independently parenting their child or children and who are in immediate need for housing.

The SHYM program is housed in one building, a former elementary school in Woodside (341 Pleasant Street). SHYM is staffed by a wonderful group of professionals.  Direct support is offered by Family support workers, Program staff, child-minding staff and a live-in staff so that there is support available to SHYM families 24 hours per day. Live-in support staff are on duty weekends and evenings. Individual support is provided on an as-needed basis. We also help young mothers to make use of other services in the community, and to keep any ties that you already have with family, friends, teachers, counselors, etc, who are supportive of you.

SHYM offers a stable, safe,nurturing environment enabling young mothers to learn about and focus on parenting. Participants receive a self-contained two-bedroom apartment with access to common areas such as a program room, children’s playroom and backyard playground, individualized case management and home visitation support, group programming incorporating community members and resources and 24 hour access to on-site staff and peer support.

Group programming, aimed at health promotion, independent living/household management skills, parenting skills, and building knowledge in the areas of child development, woman abuse, healthy relationships, self-advocacy, poverty, and racism.

Support, education, referrals, and advocacy will be provided to assist tenants in returning to school and/or work and pursuing their goals.

To be eligible individuals must identify as young women ages 16 to 24 who are independently parenting their child or children.  Tenants are able to live in the SHYM program for up to 24 months, with assistance provided for women preparing to graduate from SHYM.

SHYM Programs are designed for you. We have outreach programs that focus on your baby, being a parent, and taking care of you. Tenants will help choose the topics for the programs. Programs are a way to learn new skills. We have programs like:

  • Physical Wellness
  • Parenting Education
  • Cooking & Nutrition
  • Career Planning & Education Support
  • Budgeting
  • Household Management

SHYM’s programs will help you to meet other tenants, get information and learn new skills.

SHYM second stage]SHYM Second Stage serves as a graduate program from the SHYM program and provides affordable supportive housing for at risk single mothers who are attending post-secondary education.

SHYM Second Stage offers a supportive culture of peers, access to 24-hour on-call emergency support, advocacy, service navigation and links to community resources. Five women-led families receive below market rent, free use of on-site laundry facilities, wireless Internet and a shared yard space equipped for children’s play.

To be eligible you must be a single mother with primary care of your child/children, attending post-secondary education full time and who are at risk of homelessness.


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