This report describes the survey results of the Windsor Youth Centre (WYC) program activities. The final program evaluation report will include these results in addition to results from future focus groups and an art-based display/portrayal.
The Windsor Youth Centre (WYC) is a non-profit organization serving youth aged 16-25 in Windsor-Essex, Ontario. The mission of the WYC is to serve the basic and immediate needs of homeless and at-risk youth by providing a safe and friendly atmosphere to foster positive change and growth. The WYC operates under the guidelines of sincerity and service in order to generate feelings of trust, responsibility, and community membership between the staff, volunteers, and homeless youth. Based on a Freirean model of effecting positive social change and personal liberation (Freire, 1985), the WYC employs the three aspects of praxis (theory, action, and reflection) with a vision toward social justice in order to prevent and ultimately end youth homelessness. Homelessness can happen to anyone and it can be attributed to a number of factors including abuse, loss of employment, unmanageable living expenses, and/ or mental health or addiction problems. Youth homelessness can also be a hidden issue since many at-risk and homeless youth sometimes stay with friends or relatives (i.e., sleeping rough or couch surfing). Although these youth are not necessarily sleeping on the street or in shelters, their housing situations are unstable, unsustainable, and precarious. This homeless youth population is the demographic the WYC targets.