Is this respite care (temporary housing)?
- No. The ideal match will last for a minimum of six months, with many matches through other Host Homes programs lasting for years and until independence.
- Yes! While host families are the key to the successful operations of Host Homes Cowichan, the program would not be possible without the generous donation of funding, items, services, and time by members of our community. Whether you are an individual or an organization, we hope that you might be interested in helping Host Homes Cowichan in any one or more of these various capacities.
- Host Homes Cowichan's pilot program has been funded by an Orange Door Award from The Home Depot, which is intended to support the work of charitable organizations that incorporate the voices and opinions of youth into programs designed to prevent and/or end youth homelessness in Canada.
For Youth & Young Adults
Am I eligible to participate in Host Homes Cowichan?
- If you are a youth aged 16-18 or a young adult aged 19-26 who is living in precarious, unsafe, or no home, or are aging out of foster care, you are eligible to participate in Host Homes Cowichan. If you do not fall within these age specifications, exceptions may be made on an individual basis dependent on circumstances.
- To participate in the Host Homes program, you will complete an application form that can be acquired from one of our many community partner organizations—likely an organization you are already working with. You will complete this form jointly with the organization, and then a member of the Host Homes Cowichan team will contact you about the next steps of participation.
- Either party has the option, at any time, to end an unsuccessful match prior to the intended end date. If this is occurs, the youth/young adult can choose whether to exit the Host Homes Cowichan program or to restart the process of searching for another match with a host family with whom they would like to live.
- We can connect youth/young adults with a wide variety of services based on individual need, such as employment, counselling, and education services.
What do I need to become a host?
- You must have a private room you can offer to a youth/young adult in which to stay. Additionally, you must be willing to undergo a criminal record check, personal/private reference checks, and a physical home inspection. Most importantly though, you must be a compassionate and open-minded individual who is willing to welcome a new member into their family.
- To become a host family, click the Hosts Get Involved page. Here you will find the host family application, as well as additional information on what the Host Homes experience looks like for prospective host families. Complete and submit the application and then you will be contacted about the next steps of your Host Homes Cowichan host family application.
- Yes. Host Homes programs around the world have successfully operated with hosts consistently remaining safe. This is because not everyone takes part in the Host Homes program, as youth/young adults must want to participate, which self-selects out most of those individuals who may be problematic in a Host Homes environment. Additionally, Host Homes Cowichan utilizes the same screening process as the Ministry of Children and Family Development to further ensure the best fit and complete safety of youth/young adult participants in the Host Homes program.
- Either party has the option, at any time, to end an unsuccessful match prior to the intended end date. If this is occurs, the host family can choose to cease participation in the Host Homes Cowichan program or to resubmit their profile for consideration in establishing future matches.
- Hosts are expected to provide a private room for the youth/young adult, access to a bathroom, and access to laundry. Additionally, there must be food available for three nutritious meals a day. These meals do not need to be prepared for the youth/young adult; however, it is encouraged that if family meals are prepared, the youth/young adult be included. This is because it is hoped that a larger part of the host family role will be to integrate the youth/young adult into your family.
- Hosts with Host Homes Cowichan are considered volunteers and will receive a monthly stipend to offset additional expenses for food and utilities for hosting a youth/young adult. This amount will vary depending on funds the youth/young adult is eligible for but will include a base rate provided by the pilot funding for the program.
- All host families will take part in an initial orientation and youth support training, which will cover such things as how to work with those who have experienced trauma, conflict resolution, and cultural competency training. There will be additional training opportunities that occur throughout the youth/young adult's stay in the host home, as well as a monthly peer host home family support group. Host Homes Cowichan can also help refer host families to additional resources through our community partners.