How We Help

This info is mostly for adults. If you are a youth, check out the info here.

Directions Youth Services works with homeless and at-risk youth between 13 to 24 years old.

We are low-barrier, meaning we serve Vancouver’s most vulnerable — and challenging — homeless youth.

Many of our services, including our drop-in centre, are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

We help homeless youth meet both immediate and longer-term needs. 

hot meal example

an example of the hot meals served every day at Directions


We give street youth a place where they can be safe for a few hours.

We serve free hot meals to street youth every day and nutritious snacks. (Find out more about our innovative food program.)

We offer showers and laundry services. We also have lockers and pet kennels youth can use, so their belongings and pets are safe while they are accessing our services.

We provide medical care, and we run a youth detox and a short-term shelter where youth can stay for for several weeks at a time.


We help youth figure out where they want to go in life, what their next steps are, and how to get there. This can include:

  • finding and keeping a safe place to live,
  • acquiring job skills or a job,
  • finishing school or improving reading, writing, and math skills,
  • looking after physical or mental health, including dealing with addictions, and/or
  • addressing the issues that landed them on the streets in the first place.

Our staff work with the youth to help them create a plan and connect them with the people or services they need to help them achieve their goals.

We also offer arts programs, including music recording, film-making and painting. These allow for creative expression and skill development, and help staff develop trust-based relationships with the youth.

Our Impact

Read what one youth had to say about how Directions helped them:


What Our Clients Say About Us

  • I’m happy with how far I got in just one week.

    Client, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • This place really helped me know I can change. Everyone was super supportive and friendly and made my stay good.

    Client, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • A really good supportive environment with excellent staff who seem to really care.

    Client, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • The staff were open-minded about my gender identity.

    Client, Directions Safehouse
  • I really liked how the staff were supportive and helpful, but also gave me space to do as I felt needed to do.

    Client, Directions Safehouse
  • You give people like me, who never had a chance, a way to start again...

    Client, Directions Safehouse
  • Directions Street Youth Job Action program really made a huge difference in my life. They gave me much more than a daily paycheque. I got more confidence in myself since they trusted me. Having them on my resume is what allowed me to get off welfare.

    Graduate, Street Youth Job Action
  • Street Youth Job Action gave me the confidence to enter the workforce after having lived on and off the streets for years. 

    Graduate, Street Youth Job Action
  • 10/10 would recommend, these people do whatever they can to make you feel comfortable, safe, secure. make sure you're housed, clothed, fed. as well as educated.

    Client, Directions Youth Services
  • thanks a bunch for being there when i was down on my luck

    Client, Directions Youth Services
  • Street Youth Job Action was the only thing that got me out of bed & doing something on a daily basis. It has gotta be the most beneficial program I’ve ever come across as a street youth.

    SYJA Graduate
  • I spent the day crying alone under the Burrard Bridge. Then I came here and some guys made me laugh and you fed me this beautiful dinner. Thank you for doing that. 

    Client, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Thank you Directions, you saved my life.

    Client, Directions Youth Services
    Client, Directions Youth Services
  • Directions saved me as a youth... Happy to say I am now in my late 20s with a stable job and secure living situation. Keep being awesome Directions! Thank you for all you've done.

    Client, Directions Youth Services
  • Volunteering at Directions Youth Services has been extremely eye-opening and rewarding. I volunteer in the Media program where I am consistently engaging in meaningful conversations and experiences with youth that attend the centre. I've always had a strong desire to help those in need and give back to the community. Volunteering at Directions helps me fulfill this desire. This volunteer program provides an interesting, safe, and engaging environment to help, communicate with, and provide guidance for at-risk youth. Ultimately, volunteering with Directions has proven to be a very valuable and worthwhile experience and I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in helping those who are less fortunate with volunteering.

    Stephanie Volunteer
Contact us

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