Services for Homeless Youth


Need help? Have questions? Contact Directions Youth Services at 604-633-1472 or submit inquiry here.


Services Centre 

Directions Youth Services Centre is drop in centre and safe space where youth can get a hot meal, a shower, or do laundry. It is accessible at all times for crisis intervention. It’s also a hub for connecting youth to other services they need, from housing to detox to income assistance.  Pet kennels and lockers are available to keep pets and personal belongings are safe while youth are in the centre. See the Centre’s schedule.

Addictions Support

An addictions counselor visits weekly to provide drug and alcohol counselling to youth aged 24 and younger. Our youth workers also provide guidance to homeless youth struggling with addiction.

EA Media Room

The media room offers youth opportunities for creative expression and skill building while they learn about music, art, audio recording, filmmaking, computers and digital media. It also provides an avenue for youth to develop trust-based relationships with staff who can then assist them in other ways. The Another Slice website showcases some of what youth have created in the program.

Medical Support

Youth can see a doctor, nurse practitioner and acupuncturist at the Centre. This low-barrier avenue for medical support means more youth can access the medical help they need.

Pet Support

For many homeless youth, pets are a vital source of love and support. Directions has a kennel where youth can safely leave their pets while they access services at the Centre. SPCA staff visit Directions weekly to help youth take care of their pets’ health.

Housing Support

The Housing Support program at Directions helps homeless youth secure safe and affordable housing. It also helps them develop the life skills necessary to maintain housing. Housing Support is mostly available to youth aged 18 of younger, but some support is also available for youth 19 to 24 years old.

Outreach Services

The Outreach team contacts homeless youth on Vancouver streets to:

  • connect youth with services such as health, mental health, Ministry of Child and Family Development or police;
  • help youth return to home or home community, where appropriate; and
  • coordinate a response with other resources and service providers.

Outreach services are primarily available to youth aged 18 and younger with some support available for youth aged 19–24.


Safehouse provides short term co-ed housing for youth 16–18 years old. While youth are staying at Safehouse, they can also get help with goals such as securing longer-term housing, finding work, or going to school. Staff can provide referrals for addiction issues, pregnancy, legal problems, medical and/or mental health concerns. They can also advocate for you with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and on issues relating to income assistance. Safehouse is open for referrals and intakes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and serves metro Vancouver youth. Contact Safehouse at 604-877-1234.

Youth Transitions Program

The Youth Transitions Program is a 2-year pilot project funded by Vancouver Foundation. The Youth Transitions Worker acts as an information broker and a facilitator of community connections, and works with the youth to develop a plan for their transition into independent living. To be eligible for this program, the person must be:

  •      18-20 years old
  •      identify Vancouver as their home community
  •      have limited or no transition support in place

The project is based at Safehouse, but the youth does not have to be staying at the Safehouse to access this program. To refer a youth to the Youth Transitions Worker, use this form. For more information about this program, please contact Holly Mikesh at or 604-338-9914.

Street Youth Job Action

SYJA is a social enterprise initiative that provides mentoring and development opportunities for homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver. The program enables youth to prepare for the workforce by learning skills like teamwork, punctuality, communication, getting along with others, and a strong work ethic.

A team of two youth (a team leader/supervisor and a list worker) spend five hour shifts doing:

  • street beautification (street garbage removal, graffiti paint-over, posted bill removal);
  • needle sweeps/condom pick-up and safe disposal;
  • event clean up and other community enhancement services.

Why Hire SYJA

  • Value: Our service is affordable, effective, and directly improves your community.
  • Quality assurance: We have a GPS system and staff who monitor the workers.

Contact SYJA at 604-633-1472.

Transitions to Independence

The Transitions to Independence program at Directions Youth Services Centre helps homeless and at-risk youth aged 18 years and under work towards independence. The program connects youth with relevant services and provides coaching and life skills training to help them achieve independence. This includes assistance in finding and maintaining a place to live, attending and succeeding at school, securing employment, and other appropriate independent living skills.

Access to Transitions to Independence is through MCFD referrals only.

Youth Detox

Youth Detox provides voluntary detoxification services for high-risk youth between 12 and 21 years of age, who do not have a safe or supportive home and who are struggling with  substance misuse.

At Youth Detox, we strive to:

  • facilitate a short term reduction in substance misuse
  • provide stabilization, assessment, and the opportunity to participate in a service plan that meets the individual needs of the youth
  • help the youth connect to follow-up alcohol and drug services
  • link the youth to appropriate community services that can assist them from disengaging from any destructive aspects of their lives

Contact Youth Detox at 604-872-4349.