Oasis exists primarily for the purpose of providing transitional housing and comprehensive support services for youth, especially those from the African-Canadian population aging out of institutional care, at risk of falling through the cracks due to homelessness and in need of a safe, nurturing environment.
Our core motivation is to provide culturally anchored and Christian oriented programs that are both professional and personalized, based on client needs, to enable our youth make a successful transition to independent living and become valuable members of our communities.
Why is it urgent?
Recent research on homeless youth in Canada show that 57.8% of youth have been involved in the child welfare system (foster care, group homes, custodial centres) at some point in their lives, leading to the conclusions that child welfare involvement and homelessness are closely linked.
While African Canadians only represent 8% of the GTA population, they represent 41% of all children and youth in care of the Children’s Aid Society. From available data, concerns are increasing that African Canadian children and youth are overrepresented in Ontario’s child welfare system and more vulnerable to fall through the cracks upon aging out of care.
Therefore, the need to support this vulnerable population is urgent; the call to support these at-risk youth upon aging out of the child welfare care is both obvious and expedient.
Children of African descent exit foster care most frequently through adoption or “aging out” of the system. White children exit most frequently through reunification with families.
1 in 5 of the homeless population using shelters are unattached youth between the ages of 16-25, and a further 1% are under 16; In some communities this is as high as 1 in 3
While the drop-out rate for young people in Canada is 8.5% (Statistics Canada, 2012), the rate for homeless youth is exponentially higher at 65%. High school drop-outs face a considerable disadvantage in the labour market and may face exposure to a life of poverty.
It costs an estimated $30,000 – $40,000 per year to keep a youth in the shelter system. The cost of keeping one youth in detention is estimated at over $250 a day, or $100,000 a year. Oasis will need $26,500 per year to keep one youth from the crippling risks of homelessness.