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

MEETING DAILY NEEDS

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.

housing-10k-programMEETING LONGER-TERM NEEDS & BUILDING HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES

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:

card-from-youth-text-cropped

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
    Stephanie Volunteer
  • SYJA is the most beneficial, great experience to let people that never worked before to experience how work is!

    SYJA Youth
  • SYJA helped me get employment when I lost mine over a mental health issue. It’s helping me build up my social skills when forced to work with someone else.

    SYJA Participant
  • Directions has many times given me a place to go when I had no place to go. It’s connected me to many services and has been essential to me since I moved to Vancouver.

    Client, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • A place to go when I had nowhere else to go

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Offered help when I was faced with troubles in my life

    Client, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Staff here have made me want to improve my life situation

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Living a normal life is actually really easy.

    Client, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • I love and appreciate Directions!

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Thanks again for this opportunity - I haven't worked in 3 years and this really made me feel good.

    SYJA Participant
  • The most beneficial thing I’ve participated in is SYJA. It’s a great experience to lead people that never worked before and to expose them to work.

    SYJA Participant
  • I can take care of myself more easily.

    Client, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Connected me to many services that have been essential to me

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Directions encouraged me to want a better life!

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • It helped me gain good structure in my life.

    Participant, SYJA
  • SYJA taught me self-discipline

    SYJA Participant
  • Doing a great job, keep it up!

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • The most beneficial part of my time at Directions was meeting new people and being Team Leader in SYJA.

    Graduate, SYJA
  • At SYJA, I have learned communication skills and maintaining skills for a full-time job.

    Participant, SYJA
  • The best thing about SYJA has been getting work experience and getting paid daily.

    Participant, Street Youth Job Action
  • I've enjoyed the exercise, cleaning up the city and meeting new people in SYJA!

    SYJA Client
  • I have really benefited from access to showers, internet... everything is free and I can use my money to settle other things in my life.

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • Everyone feels safe here.

    Youth, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • I've been able to get help with a lot, and also make new friends!

    Client, Directions Youth Services Centre
  • I honestly liked the fact that everyone who works here can connect and make you feel comfortable.  

    Participant, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • I’ve been coming here for years and this place has been amazing and has really helped me in my journey.

    Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox Client
  • How kind, caring and supportive the staff were, and the overall atmosphere, made this time much easier for me.

    Participant, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • The staff were all amazing and really helped me in my recovery.

    Client, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • The staff was really helpful and supportive.

    Participant, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • I appreciated the help getting into treatment while residing in a safe place

    Client, Directions Youth Drug/Alcohol Detox
  • What I liked best was all the support and services that were provided to me, and the help that was given to me to accomplish my goals. How kind, friendly and amazing the staff have been to me.

    Client, Directions Youth Haven
  • There was someone available to talk to and tell your problems to them at any time. Staff are really helpful, and thank you for having this youth resource. We love you so much.

    Youth, Directions Safehouse
  • The staff is excellent, supportive, respectful. I would highly recommend this to anybody. Absolutely loved the staff. You have wonderful and caring staff. Keep up the good work!

    Youth, Directions Safehouse
  • I think everything was perfect & I will be recommending this place to anyone I know that may need this kind of service. Thank you guys for everything.

    Directions Youth Haven Participant
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