Roofs for Youth program
Within the framework of our Roofs for Youth program, a major responsibility of our Caseworkers is to assist the youth with obtaining their Identification(s). Unfortunately, most young people face steep obstacles in achieving this, such as the lack of supporting documents, an address for ID delivery, or even the means to pay for their copies. To counter these challenges, our team steps in, guiding them through various ID programs and generously offering our main office as a mailing address.
In 2022, we found that an overwhelming 57% of the youth we helped with ID procurement had no income, significantly higher than the 28% income-less among those who didn’t require ID support. These statistics underscore the profound need for our assistance.
Take the story of Neo, for example. Neo’s journey was especially challenging as he possessed a Social Insurance Number (SIN), but due to a lack of his Citizenship Certificate – the essential document for Service Canada to release his SIN – he was unable to access it. As a young individual keen on working part-time while finishing school, this roadblock was frustrating for Neo. Without his SIN, neither gainful employment nor access to education funding or income support was possible.
After exhausting many resources to recover his SIN, spending hours advocating to Service Canada, and contacting natural supports for any relevant documentation that could help, Neo gave permission for his Caseworker to advocate to the appropriate Member of Parliament Office (MP) for further assistance. Two months after sending a letter of advocacy, Neo’s caseworker was contacted with the best outcome as Service Canada agreed to release Neo’s Social Insurance Number.
“It was hard to find a stable, cash job that had reasonable income so I could support myself and I felt useless and incapable. After getting my SIN sorted out, I felt pure joy knowing I was finally able to work a legal, non-cash job and live more stable. I have my own place, a home. Since getting a job I no longer feel like I need to access supports such as the food bank and can actually have okay food in my house.”
Did you know that it takes 12-15 months to receive a copy of an individual’s own citizenship certificate?
The application process is extensive and can be extremely challenging for youth to complete.
Neo’s Caseworker said, “When I told Neo that I had an email with his SI number, he was over the moon and started listing off all the things he could do. He was so grateful for the support of the Roofs program and relieved that he could finally move towards greater independence. Right away, Neo began engaging with our employment services and applied for a job within CJHS to build a new fence at one of the houses.”
Neo’s short term fence project turned into part-time work with CJHS as a maintenance worker. But the job isn’t just about earning a wage – it offers a valuable mentorship opportunity as he works alongside and learns from our experienced maintenance team. Neo’s story stands as a testament to the resilience of youth and the transformative potential of support, perseverance, and a little help from a great team of people at CJHS.
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