COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to all of our young people we work with regardless of where they are at in their two year process. For our participants with stable housing and employment, they have been laid off and are concerned how they are going to maintain their housing, something they have worked so hard for. The life history of our young people leaves them with little to no safety net that your average millennial would have. Sadly rent freezes only console a person living pay cheque to pay cheque so much.
For our participants who have very recently left the streets, their transition into housing has been impacted more than concern for how to maintain the cost. They are struggling to track down the items necessary to set up a kitchen or bedroom in their new place. For participants transitioning in/out of addiction treatment centers, their wait to get into treatment has increased or their discharge date has been moved up due to reduced client capacities in treatment centers.
Young people at The Doorway often have employment barriers they overcome by utilizing temporary work options. During this COVID-19 crisis, these work options are greatly limited and often leave our participants ineligible for benefits such as the Covid-19 Emergency Assistance.
Our participants sleeping in the streets or in the shelters have deep fears and regret as the natural consequences of living in the shelters and being dependent on services have never been as apparent as noted in this participant quote:
“I am happy to be staying with my mom, it’s nice to not be in the shelter worrying about my things getting stolen or getting COVID-19. I can focus on myself and not be surrounded by sadness and bad influences, I am two weeks sober.” – May 2020