How We Help

We provide wraparound support so our youth can change their trajectories through community, permanency, health, and belonging. We help build connections, navigate education and employment goals, and stabilize housing and mental health.

Building connections. Stepstones staff

Building Connections

We help young people develop strong circles of supportive adults, because positive outcomes are only achievable when youth feel safe, supported, and empowered.

Why We Build Connections

  • To create positive and meaningful community and cultural ties
  • To strengthen a sense of belonging
  • To improve mental and physical health
  • To secure long-term and stable housing
  • To increase school engagement, high school graduation, and post-secondary enrolment
  • To build strong support networks young people can rely on for life

How We Build Connections

  • We connect youth with long-term mentors, caregivers, family members, and community allies
  • We find relevant and culturally-appropriate mental health service providers
  • We provide one-to-one academic and career counselling and support
  • We help increase young people’s self-esteem, access to opportunities, and goal achievement


Our dynamic programming allows youth to grow into their full potential and become leaders in their community.

youth programs

Homelessness Prevention

To effectively address youth homelessness and remove barriers to long-term, stable housing for youth who are, or are at high risk of becoming, homeless, StepStones facilitates: 

  • Long-term, community embedded housing solutions with extended family and other supportive adults
  • Connections with kinship and community allies to increase access to long-term housing
  • One-to-one, long-term mentorship for youth to develop trust and positive relationships with trusted adults;
  • Service navigation support for the housing rental market, specific housing services, and guidance for applying for StepStones housing grants;
  • Housing subsidies paid directly to landlords while young people continue with educational pursuits and stabilizing mental health
building connections. Illustration of young person hugging a pillow

Educational Support

We create the conditions that allow youth to focus on, have agency over, and find success in their educational endeavours. We:

  • Create educational plans and pathways with ConnectionCoordinators and volunteer mentors
  • Offer ongoing educational counselling, advocacy for learning disabilities and mental health issues, and tutoring
  • Assist with applying to post-secondary programs, visiting schools, navigating the school system, and achieving success
  • Celebrate milestones and accomplishments along their educational journeys.
Building connections. Illustration of young person holding a notebook and thinking

Mental Health Support

With a full case management approach and critical one-to-one support, we employ early intervention and preventative measures aimed at reducing the onset, development, and severity of chronic disease and mental illness for which youth involved in child welfare who have suffered Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are at very high risk. To do this:

  • Connection Coordinators are trained in and offer dialectical behaviour therapy and suicide prevention counselling for young people with severe mental health concerns
  • We offer inclusive access to a permanency- based and trauma-informed psychotherapist and offer subsidies to cover costs associated with counselling sessions
  • Youth are connected with physicians and counsellors and are supported locating appropriate services as well as being accompanied to appointments
  • Youth are supported in developing broad networks of caring, non-professional adults such as mentors and community allies that they can rely on for myriad supports
  • Youth receive subsidized travel and meals during holidays to increase opportunities for spending time with family, friends, and their communities
  • Youth are assisted in engaging with cultural, social, spiritual, and interest groups with whom they identify and where they can increase self-esteem, belonging, and community
Building connections. Illustration of young person holding a heart to her chest