Homelessness Prevention

Youth Reconnect

Youth Reconnect is the only youth homelessness prevention program in the Durham Region and is modelled on the highly successful Youth Reconnect program offered by the RAFT in Niagara.

Youth and their families that may be at risk of experiencing a breakdown that would result in them being homeless have the opportunity to work with a counsellor who will help them remain at home. The Youth Reconnect Counsellor works intensively with the youth, their parents, caregivers, family members or other supports in order to help them keep their family intact.

Our Youth Reconnect Program is provided in partnership with other local social service agencies and focuses on helping youth stay at home and in their home community. Common supports include assisting the youth to stay in school or return to school and to link the youth to any specialized services required (e.g. addictions, family counselling, mental health, etc).

Youth and other community members calling the shelter for support may be redirected to the Youth Reconnect Counsellor (YRC). The YRC can work with youth and their families to find alternatives to staying at the shelter and thus help families remain intact.

Please call/text the Youth Reconnect Counsellor, Kelly Jackson, for more information: 905-391-4845.

Shelter Diversion

Shelter diversion is the practice of working more intensively with youth in need of a shelter bed in order to find an alternate place for them to stay. Youth that stay at a shelter for even one day are more likely to become chronically homeless.

Our philosophy is to work intensively with youth and their support people to prevent them from entering homelessness.

Shelter diversion is not turning away individuals in need, it is providing youth with the tools and resources they need to resolve their housing crisis.

For more information please call the Youth Advocates on shift at: 905-239-9477.

In one year of Youth Reconnect…

  • Helped 85% of youth return home or remain at home


Youth return home or stay home


Parents actively want to be involved in the program

Numbers above based on Durham Youth Services administrative data for 2019
An example of shelter diversion:
Youth called for a bed because he had a fight with his parents and was kicked out. Shelter staff asked if he had anywhere else to stay. Youth stated that he thought he could stay with his grandmother, however was too shy to call her. Staff received consent to call on his behalf. Grandmother was happy to take the youth. Youth was then referred to the Youth Reconnect Program.


Your donation matters!!

Please help Youth Reconnect reach out to more youth by donating now on our CanadaHelps site