Steps to Success is a program for children and youth living in our housing sites. It’s designed to address the unique needs of young people who have experienced poverty, homelessness, trauma, violence and instability.
Steps to Success builds resilience among children and youth and improves their health and wellbeing by supporting them to build a strong social network, develop emotional skills, and succeed in school.
Children and families experiencing poverty are too often underserved, and often miss out on opportunities due to their inability to navigate systems, pay fees or travel. Many of the children have histories of poverty, homelessness and trauma and face multiple barriers including food insecurity and social isolation. Parents often work multiple jobs earning minimum-wage or are on social assistance, many are refugees and newcomers to Canada where English is not their first language and who lack family, community and social supports.
Fred Victor is removing barriers to participation by offering this free, in-house, quality after-school program.
Steps to Success was piloted at our Palace Street location in 2018 through a three-year Ontario Trillium Grant, and with the support of generous individuals, companies and foundations, we have now scaled up the program to serve even more families at two Fred Victor housing locations in East York.
Steps to Success is a multifaceted program that:
- Promotes physical activity, healthy eating, school success, and community safety
- Promotes mental health through social inclusion, stability, and community building
- Advances leadership, growth and empowerment
- Engages families and communities
Here children and youth have a safe place to play, learn, grow and explore, building skills, confidence and ambition. Programming includes positive mentorship through one-on-one and group support including STEM based activities; homework help and reading clubs; gardening, baking and nutrition; sports and games; arts and crafts and special youth nights. For youth, there are additional one on one supports in resume building and job search skills, and opportunities to build mentorship skills.
If you would like to learn more about the program and the ways you can support it, please contact Judy White, Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org.