Guest blogger: Tracy Wood

 Tracy Wood is the Senior Coordinator of Community Programs for Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County. Her portfolio includes overseeing the UWSM-funded Muskoka Youth Trustee Program, for which she was recently recognized as an Outstanding Community Contributor by the District Municipality of Muskoka.

I work with youth who are at risk of homelessness and are homeless in Muskoka.

Elizabeth Fry Society has been providing the Muskoka Youth Trustee Program to vulnerable, at-risk Muskoka youth since April 2017. Over the last 18 months, we have assisted 33 youth across the District and it has been a pleasure to work with every one of them.

Proving youth with the support they need to stay enrolled in school and succeed in their educational goals; assisting them in securing employment; and providing interventions to secure them safe, affordable and stable housing, have been instrumental in their successful transition to adulthood.

This is such rewarding work.

A valuable community partnership

Our Muskoka Youth Trustee Program would not exist without the support of United Way Simcoe Muskoka (UWSM). We value their support and partnership in this innovative and critical program for the most vulnerable youth in Muskoka. With UWSM’s support, we are able to assist youth to stay on track with their educational goals, gain employment readiness skills, secure safe, affordable housing; and link them with other services and programs across the region.

Thanks to our partnership with UWSM’s Community Fund, we now have the opportunity to develop a new youth program component, Safe Independent Choices (SIC). SIC is an educational program that will be delivered to all youth in the Trustee Program and will focus on safety.

SIC will teach youth about risks and prevention strategies related to sexual exploitation and predation, and will be specifically designed to be youth-positive, approachable and non-judgmental. By building these strategies and skills, youth will be better equipped to avoid harm and make healthy choices in their lives.

We are excited to complete development of SIC and start delivering this protective and empowering information to youth across the region.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In our communities, programs such as the Muskoka Youth Trustee Program with UWSM are part of that village.

Learn more about youth poverty in Simcoe Muskoka.

Local giving. Local results. #LocalLove

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