Founded on Christian principles, Making Ourselves Matter Services Society (MOMSS) was born in response to the systemic acceptance and complacency of allowing vulnerable youth coming out of government care to fall through the cracks. At-risk young women, particularly those who age out of care, should have the same opportunities to be successful adults as every other woman in British Columbia.
Too often foster kids miss a stable family surrounding, a good school education and a preparation for their daily life as adults. As a result, they end up homeless, traumatized, depressed, very anxious and struggling to build relationships or trust. MOMSS can transform their lives and give hope to them, who feel only darkness.
MOMSS is an innovative, creative, and absolutely necessary addition to the social services network in British Columbia. We also believe that once our program has been proven to transform lives here in Prince George, it could easily be replicated across British Columbia and ultimately across Canada. MOMSS can help these young ladies to become thriving and productive members of society. All MOMSS asks for is a commitment from interested young women to spend four years of their life to get out of their difficult situation, to make peace with their past, and to get prepared for their future: in short, to make a commitment to life!
Tackling the root causes of precarious housing and low income, our action plan takes a proactive approach towards preventing the emergence of a new generation of low educated, homeless adults and families, a key strategy for ending homelessness and poverty within our communities.
Instead of facing a future within an enabled ‘system-supported’ lifestyle, MOMSS provides the education to thrive as resilient, stable, and accountable adults. Our model gives a hand-up to achieve personal, career, and educational goals, and empowers these women to become successful members of their community and influencers of positive change for other community members.
Addressing the social challenge of short-term patchwork services that often fail at-risk women, MOMSS seeks to change the way that floundering youth are transitioning out of care, and to engage with their communities. If vulnerable young women are supported longer-term, with stable residential housing and the training needed to lead a healthy, self-sufficient life, they will then become contributing adults in their communities who sustain not only their own well-being but contribute to the well-being of others.
MOMSS seeks to address many of the challenges that youth aging out of care encounter. One of the challenges for these youth is that they do not have the necessary life skills required to live on their own or flourish as adults. Without a solid support network, these young people face a myriad of challenges that other youth do not.
As well, very few youths in care graduate from high school, and without a high school diploma, it is difficult to secure full-time, well paid employment in Canada. An education deficit leads to unstable employment which can lead to homelessness and trouble with the law, but in contrast, at MOMSS we promote the benefits of lifelong learning. Participants will be taught learning skills and supported to reach their educational goals including attaining high school diplomas and pursuing post-secondary ambitions.
Very often, because of past childhood trauma, social and emotional skills are under-developed and at-risk women do not value themselves as individuals and may end up in unhealthy or abusive relationships. The MOMSS program includes components specifically designed to help young women develop healthy self-images and create and maintain healthy relationships.
Study after study including The Vancouver Foundation’s study “Fostering Change: Vancouver Foundation’s Transition Survey” have found that although a majority of British Columbians, and Canadians, would like to see young people, who age out of the foster care system supported beyond the age of 19. There are a scarcity of solutions to effectively help these young adults transition from care into their communities. Too many of these youths have a hard time finding employment, achieving a higher education, or even finding housing. As well, these young adults are disproportionally affected by mental health issues such as depression and anxiety which is often related to the instability in their lives. However, MOMSS will fill this deficit with its unique program.
Our vision at MOMSS is, that our institution is only the first step and a glowing example to inspire more people to follow our way. There is so much more help needed and MOMSS would love to extend its program continuously.