Covenant House

Life Skills Program

Established in 1982, Covenant House is Canada’s largest agency serving youth (aged 16-24) who are homeless, trafficked or at risk. The organization offers the widest range of 24/7 services in the country to approximately 280 young people every day. In our last fiscal, we treated 580 youth in our on-site health clinic and had 4,085 visits. We helped 390 youth with mental health concerns.

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.

Project Initiation




Organization Website

“Thank you to the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation for your generosity that helps fund the skilled expertise of Covenant House Toronto’s on-site occupational therapist and life skills programming. Covenant House’s life skills programming is a part of our commitment to help young people thrive, care for their health and well-being and better support sustained exits from homelessness. As we work alongside every young person who comes through our doors to help them rechart their path, we are so grateful for your commitment.”

Mark Aston

Executive Director