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Our Stories – Bridging the Gap

About Us

Bridging the Gap is an essential program in Halton. Not knowing where you are going to rest your head at night puts everything else on pause. Securing housing stability in Halton Region is extremely tough with the lack of resources, increased cost of living and, essentially, not enough housing opportunities. Bridging the Gap offers connections to community resources that allow youth aged 16 to 24 to have access to semi-affordable housing. Bridging the Gap’s role is vital to youth in Halton Region because nothing else matters until you have housing security. Bridging the Gap has been able to be a part of so many success stories because we resolve the housing issue that allows youth to flourish and focus on school or securing work.

yellow banner with white houses and words bridging the gap

Meet Steve

I am a Transitional Youth Worker with Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap works with youth aged 16-24 who are at risk of, or are experiencing, homelessness in Halton Region. Our program is built on supporting youth on their journey to stability. With the support of our team, we connect youth with the community around them, ensuring opportunities for housing, education, employment and overall well-being. Bridging the Gap is committed to a youth-led approach, allowing youth to focus on their goals and feel the support of the community around them.

two males, apprentice and instructor, wearing ear protection working at machine

Meet Cassandra

Imagine being 16 years old and your parents kick you out. You couch surf for a while, but that friend moves away. Now you’re alone. You’re sleeping on the streets.

Every year, Bridging the Gap, a program supported with funding from the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton (CAFH) receives 500-plus calls regarding youth (aged 16-24) experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Cassandra, a Transitional Youth Worker with Bridging the Gap explains, “Housing is one of the most important things to give stability. You can’t focus on anything else if you don’t have a safe place to stay.”

Adds Cassandra, “I see all the marks of a traumatic childhood. Young people suppress their emotions just to survive. This can come out in behaviours that indicate they’re struggling physically or mentally, such as with addictions. I deal with much more than finding them a place to sleep. I build a connection and keep in touch, at least weekly but often daily.” She also refers her clients to agencies that can support broader challenges.

Cassandra has a special connection to young people who have had difficult childhoods. She came into care herself at the age of three. “If you understand, you don’t give up. I need to have lots of patience because my goal is to be their anchor so they can pull themselves up.”

There’s an appalling lack of housing, and donations are so important to help us provide more resources. “Funding shortages mean we can’t do all they need, and it’s just so terribly hard for them. It puts extraordinary pressure on CAS workers and leads to burnout.”

If you’re interested in making a donation to Bridging the Gap, please feel free to contact CAFH. www.cafh.ca

Meet Sarah

Sarah is a hardworking young woman who has experienced youth homelessness over the past year. Although she was unsure where she would be resting her head at night, Sarah still managed to get to school every day.

Over the course of working with Sarah, she was able to secure housing and remain in Halton. Sarah is working hard to complete Grade 12 and continue to post-secondary next year. In addition to securing housing, Sarah was actively searching for a part-time job while sustaining her attendance at school.