CHOICES is a truly unique organization. Since our opening in January 2000, the shelter has grown through community support and the dedication of many volunteers. During these eleven years we have had over 1450 intakes of Orangeville and area youth.
In 1999, an outreach worker from a local church called all interested citizens together to discuss the problem of affordable housing and homelessness. From this meeting, several areas of concern were identified. Among them was the rise of youth homelessness. Members of this group were encouraged to find a community-based solution and thus the concept fo a youth shelter was born. CHOICES Youth Shelter was able to open and operate for the first year through generous community donations and volunteerism. From this humble beginning, CHOICES Youth Shelter has developed into a leader in the needs of the homeless youth of Orangeville and area.
As a true grassroots organization, our programs have evolved to meet the needs of homeless and at risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24. We offer a safe haven for youth who would otherwise be living in less than desirable circumstances. Before youth come to us many have "couch surfed" with friends in their homes, slept in laundromats or in abandoned buildings, lived on the street sleeping in local parks, under bridges or in local forests. This tragedy is occurring more frequently throughout the world and is now within our own community.
The youth that come to CHOICES not only receive immediate shelter, nutritious meals and access to shower facilities; also referrals to local service providers based on their personal needs and goals. But more importantly, these youth have someone to listen to them and hopefully to point them in the right direction.
We believe that if the youth are involved in every step of the program and are supported by our community, we can assist them to be the capable adults that we want to see in our community.