Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU)


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YOU provides transition, career development, and enterprise services to local youth. They provide a caring and active place where all youth are engaged in learning and creating opportunities to build their future.

Steve Cordes
Executive Director,
Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Published in: Real Estate, Business
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Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU)

  1. 1. Youth Opportunities Unlimited: Our Journey of Developing an Integrated Affordable Housing Model National Housing Research Committee Distinct Needs Working Group Panel Presentation Crowne Plaza, Ottawa November 3, 2009 Steve Cordes, Executive Director
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>YOU Programs and Services Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Service Model </li></ul><ul><li>Developing the Affordable Housing Project </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable Housing Project as a Model in Creating Wrap Around, Innovative Service Model </li></ul>
  3. 3. Mission, Vision, Values Everything starts and stops here! <ul><li>MISSION </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Opportunities Unlimited is dedicated to unlocking the potential of youth by providing client centered services emphasizing skills improvement leading to increased employability and empowerment, offering a referral service to agencies serving youth, and developing, participating in and supporting community alliances to maximize opportunities for youth. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>VISION </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Opportunities Unlimited is a caring and active place where all youth are engaged in learning and creating opportunities to build their future. </li></ul><ul><li>VALUES </li></ul><ul><li>Client Centered - We are respectful in all of our client interactions; flexible and inclusive in providing services that meet clients’ needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Focused - We are locally driven and gather input from many community sectors on an ongoing basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Fun - We create and support environments that are enjoyable, positive and respectful. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity - We are honest, responsive, clear, and ethical in all of our communications and interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality Driven - We set high standards for success and work hard to surpass them. </li></ul>
  5. 5. YOU Overview: Transition Services <ul><ul><li>Street Outreach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Referrals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drop in Centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harm Reduction Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordable Housing </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. YOU Overview: Career Development Services <ul><ul><li>Job Search Resource Centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment Counselling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job Placement Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational and Community Referrals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GED Preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Exploration Services </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. YOU Overview: Enterprise Services <ul><ul><li>Recycling Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food Production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wood Furniture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retail Sales Kiosk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Events Catering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gift Basket Program </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Innovation – an Essential Component <ul><li>The term innovation means a new way of doing something. </li></ul><ul><li>It may refer to incremental, radical, and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. A distinction is typically made between invention, an idea made manifest, and innovation, ideas applied successfully. ( Mckeown 2008 ) </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of innovation is positive change, to make someone or something better. </li></ul>Achieving innovation requires an integration of strong programs, effective processes and the right people.
  9. 9. Getting Started….Highlights of the Site Wishlist <ul><li>Downtown, highly visible location in a location that was important to London </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible to transit, local services in an area where youth already gather </li></ul><ul><li>Small units that will encourage natural turnover of residents </li></ul><ul><li>Multiuse facility to support additional tenant and community resources </li></ul>
  10. 10. Building the Model <ul><li>Potential uses for commercial developed through internal discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Research through visits to various youth cafes, social enterprises, youth centres in Canada, USA, UK </li></ul><ul><li>Green design concept developed and integrated into rooftop, building systems </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual drawings developed for roof </li></ul><ul><li>Community open house during construction – buy in and input of key partners sought </li></ul><ul><li>Vision document created and shared with prospective partners, funders and internal and external stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership discussions ongoing </li></ul>
  11. 11. Highlights of YOU’s Affordable Housing Model <ul><li>28 units with rents set at Ontario Works maximum shelter rates (approx 65% of market rate) </li></ul><ul><li>Intake through housing worker; with presentation to external Tenant Review Panel </li></ul><ul><li>Tenant Advisory Committee formed to liaise with agency reps </li></ul><ul><li>Building management through property management company </li></ul><ul><li>Onsite partnerships being developed with school boards, local college, health unit, police department, various local agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Community input through open house, tours, presentations and building advisory committees </li></ul><ul><li>Programs being introduced to support pride of ownership (Fab Pad in partnership with Fanshawe College), skills development (through existing YOU programs), personal development (through onsite youth centre) </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing integration with community through rooftop, cafe </li></ul>
  12. 12. Key Partners <ul><li>Thames Valley District School Board – alternative education centre </li></ul><ul><li>Middlesex-London Health Unit – health promotion, nurse practitioner programs </li></ul><ul><li>University of Western Ontario – sustainable design assistance, potential involvement of dental outreach program </li></ul><ul><li>Fanshawe College – interior design, hospitality program </li></ul><ul><li>Various community agencies – providing on-site programming through existing YOU partnerships </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thanks!