Emergency Shelter

Joanne’s House

Durham Youth Services operates Joanne’s House, an emergency homeless youth shelter in the Durham Region. Young people between the ages of 16 and 24 can access the shelter after 4 pm Monday to Friday and 24 hours on weekends. Youth are encouraged to call as soon as they need a bed and leave a message in order to secure their position in queue.

Youth have access to meals, laundry, life skills, bus tickets for appointments and school as well as food and clothing donations. Staff will work intensively with the youth to find housing within two weeks.

Joanne’s House is a housing-focused shelter, which means we will work with youth to find a solution for their housing crisis. Operating from a housing-focused model means our number one priority is assisting youth find safe, stable housing. Staff on shift will assess each client’s situation and assist each individual based on their specific circumstances.  If we cannot find an alternate housing solution immediately through our shelter diversion program, we will work intensively with the youth during their stay at the shelter to minimize their time in the homeless system.

For more information please contact Joanne’s House 905-239-9477

Emergency Shelter Intakes

Meals Served

Support hours provided annually

Numbers above based on Durham Youth Services administrative data for 2019
A quote from one of our clients…
“Joanne’s House has been a life saver for me. After living for two years on the street and going through several hard things, I was ready to give up on life. Everyone I knew had given up on me and told me I was worthless. At Joanne’s House, I found a group of people who believed in me and helped me see that I still had a life worth living. Since coming to Joanne’s House, I have made several new brothers and sisters with lifelong relationships; but most of all, I have been given a second chance at life to really succeed.”


Shelter Diversion

We have dedicated staff who also work more intensively with youth to find an alternate safe place for them to stay to avoid entering the shelter system. Youth who stay at a shelter for even one day are more likely to become chronically homeless. Our philosophy is to work with youth and their supports to prevent them from entering homelessness. Our “shelter diversion” model is never about turning away individuals in need, it is about helping youth find safe, temporary housing while they work with us around long-term solutions.

For more information please contact Joanne’s House 905-239-9477


 An example of shelter diversion:
A 17-year old called DYS to use the shelter because he had a fight with his parents and was kicked out. The DYS staff member spent time discussing his housing options and whether he had anywhere else to stay. The youth stated that he thought he could stay with his grandmother, however was too shy to call her.  The staff asked the youth to call the grandmother on his behalf. The grandmother was happy to take in the young man, who was then referred to our Youth Reconnect Program to resolve the family issues.


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