After a pilot project in partnership with the University of Toronto several years ago, Covenant House saw the value in having an occupational therapist on staff to oversee Life Skills Development. The occupational therapist organizes both group activities and one-on-one sessions focused on life skills development. These activities include recreational activities, educational pursuits, money management, hygiene, job skills, etc. In addition to teaching life skills, the program also aims to teach soft skills such as social and emotional learning, resilience-building, attention and learning enhancement, stress management and coping skills. In the 21/22 fiscal, 699 Life Skills workshops were offered and over 1,260 credits achieved.
Experts have identified life skills as essential in launching youth on the path toward independence; investing in youth who are homeless through life skills programs is not only important due to the retention of essential skills, but also because of the ability of youth to see themselves mastering their environments. This builds self-confidence, increased self-worth, heightens resilience and improves social skills. AMDF supports this program as part of our youth mental health and homelessness strategy.
Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation.