The Doorway Approach

The Cause

The Doorway welcomes all young people (17-24 years old) who want to get off the street. We are a community here to listen without judgement. We give young people a safe space where they can tap into their innate wisdom and chart their own path forward. Change is possible.

The Doorway is here for young people and commits to them for a two-year period. During that time, they come through our doors, set goals and engage with community members. For 32 years, our proven process has been consistent and over one thousand young people, at an average success rate of 70%, have reached their goals to get off the street.

For every goal they set, they earn $15 and for many of them, this is the first chance they have had in life to make money legally. As young people continue to step through our door, set and track goals and build relationships with community members, amazing changes happen. They become more confident, hopeful and resilient. Most importantly, they start to believe in themselves and in their ability to get off the street and join mainstream community.

The Doorway has one location, one process and one objective; to support young people who want to get off the street. There are a few key elements that contribute to the success of our process.

Our Space: The Doorway is a safe space away from the stressful and often scary culture of the streets. We offer a calm environment where young people can think and breathe when they walk thru our doors, this is something we take very seriously. We also provide young people with access to a phone, computer/internet and food.

Self-determined: Young people are responsible for their plans and steps. They know themselves better than anyone, they make their own plans and set their own goals. They take ownership and they know any success is theirs.

Respect: No matter where they have been or what they have done, it is never too late, The Doorway believes change is possible. No-one is judged when coming through our doors. When young people experience respect, they build trust and confidence.

Who Will it Benefit?

Last fiscal year (June 1, 2019 – May 31 2019):
61 young people involved in two-year commitment and at any time can come through our doors to write plans
1339 Participant Visits
2,006 steps (goals) were written
1982 Volunteer hours were completed where non-paid community members were directly connecting with young people.
97% of young people said The Doorway process helped them reach their goals
60% of young people at the end of 2 years had successfully moved off the street and were engaged in mainstream society
$44,000 was legally earned by young people
Graduates visited 57 times to use the space and/or catch up with staff and volunteers
Note * for 3.5 months, these visits were distance only, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Participants have taught us success in getting off the streets is not just about changing where you sleep, it is changing the way you think. We have seen one of the most powerful tools we can provide a young person with is acceptance for who they are, with a belief in who they can be. When provided with this and a few other things young people begin to see Change is Possible, something many have doubted for a long time. The Doorway believes no young person should have given up on their future before the age of 24.
The results have spoken for themselves. Young people respond to our belief in them by succeeding in making their own transition off the street. Since inception, a consistent average 7 out of 10 participants grow to a place where they are ‘off the streets’ for their survival and able to sustain living situations to support their employability. Enhanced planning and problem solving move them forward into further opportunities which contribute toward their ‘better future’.