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Unemployment, Poverty & Homeless

Create an Aboriginal Youth Housing Advocate to assist Aboriginal youth in gaining safe and affordable housing

Many Aboriginal youth spoke about their difficulty in finding affordable and safe housing in Calgary. Whether they had chosen to leave their families, were attempting to leave the street or were forced to find accommodation due to family violence, Aboriginal youth felt they were being ignored by landlords and were unsure of rental procedures. In many cases, welfare was not sufficient and they felt they were denied rentals because as Aboriginal youth they would be "too noisy and would party all the time".

Youth suggested an Aboriginal Youth Housing Advocate which would operate as one central service where they could get the help they needed. This was recommended particularly for those Aboriginal youth wanting to leave the street, young prostitutes, emancipated youth leaving Calgary Young Offenders Center as well as those Aboriginal youth who were leaving family violence.

Establish transitional homes for pregnant Aboriginal youth, young prostitutes leaving the street as well as homeless Aboriginal youth.

Aboriginal youth knew of peers who were at particularly high risk of re-entering unsafe situations if they did not receive specialized services. It was important that homeless youth, young mothers as well as child prostitutes have a safe place to go where they could receive services, and be away from negative adult influences. Again multidimensional centralized services were recommended such as drug and alcohol interventions, anger management as well as educational and employment support.

Create an Aboriginal Youth Crisis Support Team

Aboriginal youth felt that they would be more responsive to other youth who had been in similar crisis situations and who had successfully healed themselves. This included youth living on the street, prostitutes and youth involved in criminal or gang activity. An after hours crisis team could respond to situations and encourage Aboriginal youth to look at other options or refer them to services.