Why wrym is necessary in our community -
Attached you will find a sobering report from British Columbia’s Coroner’s Office on youth transitioning from care, at risk of homelessness, or homeless. We are fortunate to have a good relationship with the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society, especially for those male youth transitioning out of foster care. For more information online, visit this link. The full report is also attached below.
If you doubt what I say, read the second attached article. WRYM is the only provider of transitional housing for male youth in our community. We give “our guys” the basic life skills and continuing support to get and keep them off the streets. Their consequent ability to access the private rental market has become even more crucial as we have recently learned that the wait list for social housing units has increased from 4,040 in the Fall to 4,700; and, 68% of the homeless in our community are male.
Outputs vs. outcomes
I have often said that WRYM does not support homelessness – we try to end it, for “our guys”. An “output” is the number of meals served or the number of bed nights our guys shelter under our roof; but, how does such end homelessness? Such “assistance” may actually support the state of being homeless. While we keep track of those statistics, to us they are meaningless. What counts is our “outcomes” – how successful we are at “getting our guys off the street”. That’s where our program becomes meaningful. Except in emergency, no one comes to WRYM to get a meal, but to learn how to make it – not to “flop” or “couch surf”, but to learn how to make their own home. “Our guys” must commit to learning the life skills that will turn them into productive citizens AND we’re good at it! Assisting on average 50 each year, 74% left the street in 2015, 80% in 2016, and remarkably 98% in 2017. Of those succeeding with our program, about 1/3 were re-united to family, 1/3 found supportive housing appropriate to their needs, and the other 1/3 found their own place to live with a job or educational funding, usually both. These are the numbers, the “outcomes”, that are meaningful to us: a success rate between 74-98% at getting an average of 50 young guys off the street each year!
Serious immediate need – new mattresses
After almost 6 years of hard use we need 10 mattresses, but just not any mattresses – ours are institutional grade and must be bug proof, water proof and fire retardant. We have a good quote at $3,800 with tax, delivered; but, after our sewer disaster earlier this year, even with everyone’s generosity, we do not have such funds in the budget. If you can help, please contact me. A safe mattress is basic to safe shelter, which is basic to our program.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach him to fish and he will feed himself for a lifetime.
Gregory D. Goulin, LSM, JD
Executive Director, (pro bono)