×

Help our struggling neighbours celebrate the joys that the Christmas season brings.

Families in Need

BIBI'S STORY

Bibi was sponsored to immigrate to Canada a few years ago. With no support after arriving, Bibi had to move into a youth shelter. From the shelter Bibi was referred to YSM’s Cornerstone to receive further support to address the multiple barriers: adequate housing, major health issues for herself and her young children, poor nutrition due to lack of regular meals, financial instability and concerns for her safety.

YSM’s Food Bank provided food and diapers as a first step. A plan of action was then developed. In collaboration with YSM’s Housing Services Bibi was able to access priority housing because of her safety and health issues and YSM’s Cornerstone connected her with a family doctor. Bibi worked with YSM to establish realistic goals and timelines to obtain her GED, attend parenting workshops, and receive training for financial literacy.

Bibi is eager to not be dependent on government social assistance and sees the need to complete her education, which would allow her to build better lives for her children. Bibi says, “My hope has been restored because of the support that YSM is providing”.

Any number of experiences can move a family in Toronto into a critical situation. Loss of a job or bread-winner, relationship breakdowns, or mental health issues of a family member are all huge blows to low income families. A discouraging number of single parent families or new immigrant families are entering shelters which only provide a very short term and harsh situation for a healthy family life. Other families new to Canada struggle with parenting in a different culture and understanding school systems, which often leave them feeling overwhelmed. Fathers who struggle to find meaningful employment often experience depression. As a result, the family can experience trauma on any number of levels which only makes the situation more acute.

Families in Need

RISE Model for Families in Need

RISE Model for Families in Need

OUR RISE MODEL FOR FAMILIES USES FULL WRAPAROUND SYSTEM OF SUPPORT PROVIDED DIRECTLY TO, AND IN PARTNERSHIP WITH, FAMILIES WHO ARE SPIRALING INTO A DESPERATE STRUGGLE IN LIFE.

Assuring they are stabilized and restored. In addition, YSM’s Cornerstone provides some large scale, extremely effective programs that keep families from falling into the cycle of poverty. These include computer training at all levels, subsidized registered day-care, and after school homework and leadership clubs.

Many times, the first point of connection with a family in need is YSM’s food bank. YSM’s food bank has 3110 registrants of which 829 are children. On average, families using our food bank have $7.33 a day to live on after paying rent. Families that have no disposable income sometimes come for diapers, school supplies or emergency food needs. YSM also runs a Christmas toy market that creates a positive connection with families living on low income.

Families in need often have many parts of their life that have caused trauma and brought on a sense of hopelessness. One of the most helpful things that can be done is to develop a realistic, clear path forward that shows how the family can get the help they need and make progress towards a brighter future. Sometimes, due to the pressures associated with poverty, counseling is needed or other forms of spiritual support.

Through providing a planned wrap-around system of care that addresses all hurdles keeping the family in a state of crisis, YSM’s Cornerstone works with any and all members of the family that require support. Providing parents with workshops tailored to their area of struggle, families gain the skills and knowledge to guide and interact with their children effectively, which increases the chance of staying together as a unit as well as educational success and well-being of children. YSM provides family-to-family mentorship through volunteers which sustains change and allows YSM staff to deal with more people in crisis.

Positive and sustainable changes are possible when residents are the leading voices in the process. YSM’s Community Development program is built around facilitating this last stage of the “RISE” journey, when many are ready to lend their voices. Many families who have been helped through YSM’s Cornerstone want to give back in this way. YSM’s role is to support their voice, in partnership with others.

Because of our deep desire to know that we are doing our best to help people, YSM has established a robust model to inform the ways in which we support people. This is our Transformation Integrated Measurement and Evaluation System or TIMES. By investing in a holistic approach to supporting people in their journey we develop better responses, set shared goals with partners, and ultimately know if we are helping people make positive steps and move out of poverty.

Meet Our Community

Meet Our Community

Adults Experiencing Chronic Poverty

Learn More

Street Youth

Learn More

Families In Need

Learn More

Community Development

Learn More