In Canada today, approximately 2,291 young people “age out” of the child welfare system every year (Conference Board of Canada 2014). For many of these youth, upon turning 18 or 19, they are expected to leave the care system and transition to independent living — void of financial or emotional support. By the time they turn 21, any government funding they have been receiving largely ceases, and they must find the means and resources to establish a stable life, managing their own finances and accommodations.
Without the appropriate level of support, these young people can face homelessness, insurmountable poverty, and a lifetime of hopelessness.
That’s why in 2010, with the support of our incredible donors David and Susan Howard, the Foundation was able to launch The Home Base Fund to assist young people leaving the foster care system establish permanent and safe housing. The fund provides:
- First and last month’s rent to help secure safe, affordable tenancies;
- Emergency funds to assist youth when they are short on rent or need a place to stay during the holidays; and
- Storage for belongings until housing can be secured.
The Fund is currently managed by the Children’s Aid Foundation. It is available to young people being served by the six child welfare and youth-serving organizations in Toronto.
“I am working hard to maintain a stable lifestyle, but am struggling because I am currently homeless. I work part time (2 shifts/week) but unfortunately I can’t afford to save much of that money for first and last months rent. If I am approved for this grant, I will use the entire sum as a portion of my first and last months rent. I am looking for a bachelor apartment, and one of my immediate goals is to get back into school once I am settled. I really appreciate this jump-start in the right direction. I will always remember the support and assistance The Foundation has provided me. Thank you.” – Home Base Fund funding recipient.