Highlights

1. Thanks to The Rotary Clubs of Kings County Charitable Foundation, we kicked started the Homeless No More Strategy to end youth homelessness in the Annapolis Valley by 2028. The Lead Team is a committee of experts from needed jurisdictions that can guide the community in a sustainable change for the vulnerable population of youth 16- 24 years of age.

2. The Valley Refuge Association, in partnership with Valley Gate Church, established The Refuge Transitional Housing Program in 2009. There have been over 70 men (19 years and up) housed.

3. Since 2011, The Portal has provided the Trustee Program for youth 16- 19 years of age who are eligible for Income Assistance in the Annapolis Valley. This continues to allow youth access to the basics.

4. In the past few years, The Portal has provided an Emergency fund for bus passes and tickets, food & food cards, transportation, acquiring identification, accessed health care, emergency rent/ damage deposit, medication, baby needs, women’s feminine products, personal moves, and clothing.

5. Established an ongoing partnership with Kings County Family Resource Centre, CMHA Project Hope and all government programs serving youth in the Annapolis Valley.

6. In 2017, Staff have presented over 20 presentations about poverty & youth, engaging the unengaged, and youth homelessness to community groups with Municipal Councils, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Teachers, Home Depot Associates, churches, advocacy groups and recreation leaders.

7. With the Town of Kentville, The Portal established the prevention program called Rec Buddies. It’s a program that offers youth (12- 15 years) the opportunity to pair up with a young adult, who they will participate in activities, weekly.

8. The Portal, in partnership with NS Health, established improved access to crisis and emergency response at Valley Regional for identified youth. This creates a safer net for youth at risk.

9. The youth outreach program has strong support from the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board for youth that need added support to get their education. With this partnership there is efficient response to youth facing barriers

10. 2018 has seen a strengthened partnership with DCS, Child Welfare (Western Region) in providing protection, support and effective services to youth.

11. The Portal has facilitated the provision of over 70 host homes for youth that were couch surfing or needed rehousing due to family breakdown.

12. We changed our name. We are now, Portal Youth Outreach Association, a registered charitable not-for-profit organization.