Bridging the Gap is an independent community program that supports and assists youth between the ages of 16 to 24 years of age who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The program is voluntary and based on client needs. It is focused on supporting and assisting youth in obtaining housing. This may include shelter placements, supportive and transitional housing. Bridging the Gap serves 250 to 300 youth annually in the Halton Region.
Bursaries and Education
We believe education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse; increasing a child’s self-esteem, confidence, and ability to succeed. Since post-secondary education is not funded by the government, our youth in care rely on the Halton Children’s Aid Society to pay for any post high-school education that might benefit them. Since the Halton CAS and CAFH believe strongly that education is the first step towards a brighter future they work together to make educational opportunities available to all youth in care helped by the Society. Whatever the child/youth has a passion for, that their worker feels is an attainable goal, will be strongly encouraged by our Bursary committee and funded by the CAFH.
The Seasonal Program is not just about gifts under the tree, but also supports graduation, back to school needs, Thanksgiving celebrations, etc; all the things we do year round that we often take for granted. The Halton CAS assists children and youth who have experienced significant family trauma as well as families that have serious challenges with limited resources and are unable to provide their children/youth with basic needs and gifts over the holiday season.
Sport and Recreation
We believe all children and youth should have the chance to run, skate, sing, learn a new activity, or simply have the chance to interact with other children and youth their age. We know from experience that encouraging children and youth to participate in organized sports and recreational activities such as hockey, dance, soccer and swimming, enables them to develop important life skills, self-esteem and confidence. We provide funds to ensure children have the chance to be children and create happy childhood memories with friends and mentors.
The goal of the FUTURES Educational Program is to help youth receiving services from the Halton Children’s Aid Society achieve their educational goals and support them as they transition into adulthood. Youth meet weekly to participate in a project-based learning series, working in teams to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, communication, social skills, academic learning, cultural awareness,and lifeskills. FUTURES also runs a summer camp. The school year and summer camp programs are divided into junior and senior divisions. During the school year, the program runs weekly and the summer camp program runs for three weeks for each division. These are memories that last forever and are experiences we want to offer children who can’t imagine this fun. Emotional or behavioural difficulties often preclude them from being accepted into ‘regular’ summer camps so we fundraise to ensure our camp will accommodate these strong and active children and youth who need the chance to experience some real joy.
Youth in Care
Our Youth in Care are the future of this community; the Halton CAS and CAFH must act as their parents. We fund a Life Skills program to help connect these youth to their community and better prepare them for adult life. Preparing for issues such as applying to university; budgeting; peer pressure; healthy nutrition; first aid and more; individually or in group settings with volunteers acting as mentors, the
youth are encouraged to reach for their dreams and set out on the path to success. The success of this program is helping to keep our youth in school and assisting them to overcome their emotional issues in order to graduate from high school, look towards a fresh start and a brighter future. No one needs hope more than our youth, and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect need that hope more than ever. We’ve learned that introducing youth to this program in their early teens helps them through a very vulnerable time in their lives and guides them to find the hope they need.
Ways to Give