how we help

Our Priorities & Funded Programs

 

Strong Communities

United Way invests in programs that create safe and inclusive communities with vulnerable adults by:

  • Increasing connections to supports,
  • Increasing neighbourhood and community engagement, and
  • Increasing personal wellbeing and safety.

To learn more about United Way’s investments, refer to the Priority Area Framework.

Bethlehem Housing and Support Services

Bethlehem Place Counselling Support Program

Bethlehem Place Support Program provides 1-1 support, groups and life skills workshops for women and men with histories of homelessness, while residing in transitional housing, or on its waitlist, to increase stability and self-sufficiency.

Canadian Mental Health Association - Niagara Branch

Mental Health Resource Centre

Walk-in, referral and brief counselling service for people with mental health problems and their families. Provides information about mental health/illness, resources, brief solution focused counseling and referrals to services.

Volunteer Training and Development

Volunteers are recruited, trained and supported. Programs include; 1) Direct service programs including the "warm line" and "partnering up", 2) Public Education/Health Promotion, including "speakers bureau" and 3) Indirect services including administration.

Canadian Red Cross - Niagara Branch

Disaster Management Volunteers

The Canadian Red Cross provides 72 hours of relief assistance through the Personal Disaster Assistance program for people evacuated from their homes due to personal disaster (i.e. fire or flood, etc.) Emergency and disaster services are offered in partnership with first responders, emergency managers, public officials, and in collaboration with other voluntary sector organizations. These services may include emergency lodging, emergency food, emergency clothing, personal services and family reunification. The Canadian Red Cross is also actively helping communities prepare for and reduce the impact of disasters before they happen through the provision of preparedness workshops.

Volunteer Transportation Services

The Red Cross Transportation service provides door-to-door rides for the physically and mentally frail, seniors and people with temporary or permanent disabilities. Rides are provided to medical appointments, out-of-town specialist appointments and adult day programs for people who are cognitively impaired. Limited grocery shopping trips are available for some clients to increase access to nutritious food. Rides are also provided to clients attending falls prevention education, exercise groups and continence care. The program is for clients who are unable to access other transportation options including public transit.

CNIB

Independent Living Skills

Provides instruction on learning or re-learning household and personal management skills such as cooking, cleaning, and self-care. Braille, basic computer keyboarding, and use of assistive devices and technology are also taught.

Low Vision Services

Functional vision assessments, information about eye condition and its implications on functioning, and training on the use of assistive devices.

Orientation & Mobility

Teaches safe travel techniques indoors and outdoors such as learning to navigate in the home, school, workplace, or community, and using public transportation.

Volunteer Services

Volunteer Service Program provides opportunities for residents of Niagara Region to contribute to their community through education, fundraising, and direct support to blind or partially sighted individuals.

Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln

Physical & Mental Empowerment and Abuse Prevention Training

To provide workshops on physical activity in the hopes of encouraging life long health, activity and wellness. To provide workshops on personal and mental empowerment and abuse training to improve emotional health, build confidence and prevent abuse.

Recreation and Life Skills Development

We employ a support worker to coordinate various skill development training sessions. Sessions run day & evening and address the various levels of skill and ability of participants. Sessions focus on maximizing independence, participation and inclusion.

Transitional Aged Youth: Preparing for the Future

This program coordinates life skills training after school and on weekends. We provide person-centered supports to meet individual goals. These include: street safety, work place preparation, first aid, team work, achieving personal goals.

Community Living St. Catharines

CPS: Therapeutic Support Services

A team driven program that promotes individuality through meaningful recreation and leisure activities and life opportunities. Offering life skill development and learning opportunities to promote empowerment, independence and inclusion for all individuals.

Distress Centre Niagara

24 Hour Crisis Line

24-hour telephone crisis service operating 365 days per year. Trained volunteer crisis workers respond to a variety of calls and offer emotional support.

Epilepsy Niagara

Support Services

Includes individual and family counselling, goal setting, doctor's appointment attendance (upon request), advocacy, accompaniment to tribunals, referrals to other agencies, program creation, implementation, evaluation and re-evaluation.

Family Counselling Centre Niagara

CORE Counselling

Range of professional counselling supports. Individual, couple, family, group counselling; wide range of modalities, client profiles and presenting issues, e.g. stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship, parenting, unemployment.

INCommunities

Information and Referral (211)

211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects people to services they need. Highly trained 211 staff assess the needs of reach caller and in order to link them to the best service available including a full range of community, social, health and government services. 211 is a program of INCommunities. 211 services are free, confidential and available 24/7/365.

Mainstream : An Unsheltered Workshop

Graffiti Removal

The Program is designed to provide paid employment for people with a developmental disability and reduce/eliminate graffiti in our community. The program also provides participants with skills and knowledge to assist them in obtaining future employment.

Resource Centre

Mainstream's Resource Centre is a Day Program that provides an individualized, person centered approach to learning and community opportunities for adults who have been diagnosed as having a Developmental Disability.

MS Society of Canada - Niagara Peninsula Chapter of Hope

Member Support

The MS Society, Niagara Peninsula Chapter of Hope offers individuals living with MS a wide variety of programs and services that promote personal independence and contribute to an enhanced quality of life such as information and referral; supportive counseling; support groups; educational events; recreation and social programs. We also provide Quality of Life Grants that are designed to provide financial assistance to those requiring support with the purchase of mobility equipment, safety devices or needed services not provided by other government/community agencies.

Niagara Centre for Independent Living

Advocacy/Individual Disability Support

Assist pwd access needed resources and support to achieve self identified independent living goals. Flexible and individualized. Usually access program in crisis . Criteria-self identified disability. Multiple /complex disabilities and barriers.

Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre (CARSA Inc.)

Hospital Response (24 Hours)

This program provides crisis intervention, information, medico/legal advocacy on a 24 hour on-call basis. These services are provided to sexual assault survivors and their families who present at the St. Catharines Sexual Assault Treatment Centre, SCGH.

Niagara Training & Employment Agency (NTEC)

Pre-Employment Program

NTEC has received funding to offer a unique pre-employment program. It entails a series of sessions to help participants identify what is important to them and how they would like to be supported to succeed in their search for employment. Participants will also receive an Action Plan identifying the steps to take and resources to achieve their goal of employment. The program takes a Person Directed Approach to assist people to achieve employment.

St. John Ambulance- Niagara Region Branch

Medical First Responders

Ambulances used at public events. Provide ease of access for public knowing where to seek treatment and provides the tools & space for MFRs to perform their tasks.

Victim Services Niagara

Mobile Emergency Response System

Provide for the enhanced safety of victims who are at high risk by known offender. Used for victims of Stalking, Hate Crime, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assaults.

Victims Crisis Support Service

Victim Services Niagara (VSN) provides 24/7 on-scene emotional support and practical assistance by specially trained volunteer Crisis Responders to Victims of crime, tragedy and disasters upon referrals from Emergency Services.

West Niagara Palliative Care Services (Rose Cottage)

Education

Our education program provides training to new volunteers as well as providing ongoing training opportunities to existing volunteers, enabling them to provide support to our clients. We also offer community education at least once a year.

West Niagara Second Stage Housing & Counselling Inc.

Housing & Counselling

The Transitional Housing & Counselling Program provides support, within a feminist framework, to women and children who have experienced abuse.

Our temporary transitional housing is integrated into local communities, with the objective is to obtain safe, affordable, and permanent housing for clients. The project is also committed to providing professional counselling services, advocacy with third parties, and helping to connect clients with community resources to assist women and children to develop, with dignity, the abilities and skills necessary to lead independent lives.

YWCA Niagara Region

Street Support

Outreach engages street-level sex trade workers in their environment, to be informed about resources and receive hygiene packs. Drop-in will provide a safe place for sex workers to spend time away from problematic environments.

 

From Poverty to Possibility

United Way invests in programs that meet basic human needs and move people out of poverty by:

  • Increasing employment and financial security,
  • Increasing food security, and
  • Increasing housing stability.

To learn more about United Way’s investments, refer to the Priority Area Framework.

Bethlehem Housing and Support Services

Community Support Program

Individuals and families, with histories of homelessness, receive 1-1 supports as they prepare to leave Bethlehem Place, as they transition into and while living in the community. Assistance is provided with securing and maintaining safe affordable housing.

Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold

Food Program

Increased food security as participants access food bank 6x per year. Monthly service for vulnerable clients and emergency food as needed. A weekly meal in bag & recipe using healthy choices from food bank shelves. "Ensure" as available; milk & eggs monthly; bread daily; fresh produce daily as available; nutrition info; healthy recipes; after hour meal programs posted; Community Gardens.

Thorold Branch

Increased food security as participants access food bank 6x per year. Monthly service for vulnerable clients and emergency food as needed. A weekly meal in bag & recipe using healthy choices from food bank shelves. "Ensure" as available; milk & eggs monthly; bread daily; fresh produce daily as available; nutrition info; healthy recipes; after hour meal programs posted; Community Gardens.

Community Care of West Niagara

Emergency Assistance

CCWN Emergency Program provides financial assistance to registered families up to once every 12 month period. Funds are to support households to maintain housing through payment of outstanding bills related to Rent and Utilities. Medical, Dental, Transportation, Legal and other emergencies are assessed on a case by case basis. Referrals to other agencies are made and we advocate for clients needs.

Food Program

The CCWN Emergency Hunger Relief (Food) Program provides each client household 3-5 days of food and household items. Although clients are allowed to come in once a month(12x per year), there are times where clients require supplemental food support between visits as well. Our clients come from all walks of life and are facing hardship such as job loss, illness or are on a form of income assistance. CCWN offers a varied and nutritious selection of fresh, frozen, and prepared foods.

Credit Counseling of Regional Niagara

Credit Counselling

Credit Counselling of Regional Niagara is a not-for-profit, charitable community organization offering confidential credit counselling at no cost, and debt management programs at low to no cost. We have been serving the Niagara community since 1975, assisting individuals and families who are experiencing money and debt problems. Our primary services include one-on-one counselling to provide clients with money management tools and advice and to help them find solutions to their debt problems, and the delivery of group workshops on financial topics such as budgeting, understanding credit options, and protecting yourself from fraud.

Gateway Residential and Community Support Services of Niagara, Inc.

Good Food Box

The Good Food Box is a volunteer non-profit, produce buying cooperative to help everyone to include more fresh fruit and vegetables in their meals. The low cost of the Good Food Box is made possible because of group buying. By pooling their money, Good Food Box participants can buy food wholesale and get better prices. Volunteer labour for sorting and packing keeps the prices down. The selection of produce in the box changes according to the season, quality, and affordability at the time.

Niagara Furniture Bank

BedBug Remediation

Heat treatment of all donations before they enter the warehouse will provide the best possible insurance that we do not develop a 8,000 sq foot infestation of bedbugs and get put out of business.

Niagara Regional Literacy Council

Literacy for Life

Fully trained volunteer tutors assist adult learners to upgrade reading, writing, numeracy, computer and life skills. Residents of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold and surrounding areas may be included in this literacy program. All learners have access to materials that are appropriate to their literacy goals, including job specific manuals for those who are seeking employment or advancement in the workforce. Assistance towards re-entry into the school system is also provided, including preparation for GED. Computer classes provide basic computer instruction for groups of up to 12 learners. For other topics most instruction takes place on a one-to-one basis. Services are provided free of charge. Confidentiality is assured.

Niagara Women's Enterprise Centre

Multi-sector Training Program Retail Professional

This is a certificate program targeted to unemployed women who are newcomers to Canada and Niagara. It is delivered at YMCA Employment and Newcomer Services in St. Catharines, in partnership with both St. Catharines Folk Arts (Multicultural Centre) and the Y. This 7-week certificate program includes a four-week co-op placement with a retail or other career-goal business or placement provider. With United Way funding, we are able to add one additional intake of this program per year, with an emphasis on supporting newcomer women to find their first job in Canada.

Start Me Up Niagara

Food Plus

Comprehensive food services program building sustainable food security strategies for/with people living in poverty. Congregated weekend, holiday meals, daily refreshments, cooking classes, nutritional information, employment readiness – placements, training, volunteering, growing, distributing local produce, special community events.

Income Program

Program will assist people to secure/ maintain income from social assistance programs & assist them to maximize the income available to them through other programs. Maximizing income is an effective personal poverty reduction strategy.

SMUN Centre

SMUN Centre is a busy place open to all 365 days a year that hosts 30,000 visits annually. Provides continuum of support - stabilize- participate- grow for people facing significant life challenges. Uses practical inclusive problem solving method that encourages people to take personal responsibility for their own well being. "Meet people where they are at and help them get to where they want to be." Low barrier access, time tolerant. Comprehensive support program. Unique in Niagara.

Westview Centre 4 Women

Food & Financial Security

WC4W is in response to expressed needs by Queenston area women combating the effects of poverty. Featuring a wkly drop in gives us opportunity to introduce a 3 day per wk cycle of hands-on sessions tailored to increase resource access and expand survival skills. Providing healthy choices, hygiene direction and clothing promotes pre employment and leadership options. Peer-to-peer collaboration and a growing community experience will change the impact of isolation, stigma, and powerlessness.

YWCA Niagara Region

Adult Life Skills

It offers a variety of workshops and longer term programs that build basic living skills as well as addresses other issues that create barriers to successfully living independently and led the participants into crisis.

Transitional Supportive Housing

At Epworth Terrace, single women are housed for a one year period. They are provided with on-site one to one weekly support sessions and life skills programs that address their individual needs. It is often the first step for women leaving the shelter system but need more support than independent housing will provide. The women that come to live at Epworth Terrace often have multiple barriers and this program offers them opportunity to move through these barriers to a place of independence.

West Niagara Transitional Supportive Housing

In partnership with Grimsby Affordable Housing Partnership, this program provides up to 3 years of transitional supportive housing in the communities of Grimsby, West Lincoln and Lincoln. Through the support of staff, the participants are able to work on goals that move them to a place of stability and the ability to maintain permanent housing. Through the delivery of life skills programs, the participants build their skills to further enhance their capacity to achieve their goals.

 

All That Kids Can Be

United Way invests in programs that encourage children and youth to reach their full potential by:

  • Increasing connectedness
  • Increasing engagement in learning, and
  • Increasing emotional and physical wellbeing

To learn more about United Way’s investments, refer to the Priority Area Framework.

Autism Ontario - Niagara Region Chapter

ASD Summer Camp Program

The program supports children/youth with educational, recreational and vital life and social skill programming during the summer months. The program is offered for six weeks (one week sessions at locations throughout the Niagara Region. The program offers an opportunity to access camp experiences with adequate support for those with ASD. Children/youth with an ASD require a different camp experience and a higher level of support than children not affected by ASD. With verbal and non-verbal communication difficulties, varying social skill levels and behaviour challenges often experienced, the Chapter's summer camp program offers the required 1:1 to 4:1 staff to participant ratio and educational, recreational, leisure and skill building activities and experiences that meet the unique needs of the program participants.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln

Traditional Mentoring

A Big Brother/Sister is an adult mentor who is matched with a boy/girl between the ages of 6 and 16 in a one to one friendship. A Big Brother/Sister has to be at least 18 years of age but may be from any walk of life, single or married with or without his/her own children. He/She is committed and caring and has the ability to provide positive guidance, support and safety to his/her Little Brother/Sister. Big Brothers/Sisters are asked to make a commitment for a minimum of 1 year and to see their Little Brothers/Sisters once a week for 2-4 hours.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Catharines-Thorold and District

Big Brother/Big Sister Program

The Big Brother Big Sister program is a community-supported, volunteer-based organization committed to the healthy development of children in need and their families through the provision of quality one to one volunteer relationships. Following a full screening, Volunteers are matched with a child to provide support, friendship and to act as a positive role model. They see each other at least once a week for 2-4 hours for a minimum of one year. Having an older adult role model that a child can look up to and respect can make s substantial difference to a child. Children come from various backgrounds which include single parent homes, and low or poor socio-economic backgrounds. Matches are closely monitored by professional caseworkers on a regular basis to provide support to the match and to ensure a successful match.

In-School Mentoring

In School mentoring is based on the one to one big and Little relationship, but minimizes the time commitment of the volunteer mentor. It is a co-operative partnership between the public and separate school boards, the business community, volunteers and Big Brothers Big sisters. The program matches children and youth in grades 1-8 and grades 9-10. Volunteers see the child at their school during school hours for the school year for one hour per week. Activities include playing educational board games, crafts, sports, and reading. These activities foster skill development, self confidence and self esteem. Children are referred to the program by the school liaison(youth worker, principal, teacher) and the agency provides professional caseworker support. Volunteers are screened and participate in Child Safety Training.

CNIB

Child and Youth Services

Early Intervention Services provides direct service, information resources, parent/peer support, and advocacy. It prepares blind or partially sighted children for school and ultimately independence later in life. The program also increases the family's confidence and parenting skills by developing a network of support so that they can best meet their child's special needs. An Early intervention Specialist works closely with the family, caregivers, and educators by providing information about the diagnosis and its impact on growth, development, and learning. Services are provided in the most appropriate setting: home, treatment centre, or day care. Consultative services are provided to therapists, early childhood educators, teachers, and other professionals in the community.

Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold

Niagara Nutrition Partners

Niagara Nutrition Partners is a region wide initiative that provides communities in Niagara opportunities to develop and coordinate Student Nutrition Programs in local schools. Programs are universal and 156 school sites fed snack/breakfast or lunch to 13,00 children per day in 2011. Provincial funding grants are capped at 15% but due to the high number of programs in Niagara each provincial grant funding is reduced to the 5-8% range. Schools must fundraise/collect donations to cover costs. All programs must follow nutritional guidelines established by the ministry. Depending on the type of program the cost per meal ranges from 60 cents for snacks to $1.00 for breakfast.

Youth Support Worker

The main focus is to provide housing, financial stability and counselling to youth at risk to enable them to complete their education, maximize employment opportunities, and provide a more stable lifestyle for them. The youth outreach worker provides support and outreach to those who live in unsafe environments and shelters. Many have several issues stemming from birth and their early years. They have diagnoses such as ADHD, FASD, developmentally delayed, learning disabilities, abandonment, dissociative disorders, anxiety, depression, conduct disorders and most have substance abuse concerns either pharmaceutical, illegal or alcohol. This population presents with little if any life skills, have overwhelming sense and presentation of hopelessness. This program assists these youth to continue their education during these turbulent times and to become contributing members of society.

Family Counselling Centre Niagara

Child Advocacy Counselling

The CAC Program Therapist works as part of a multidisciplinary team (including law enforcement, child protection, mental health, medical) to provide a single point of access to comprehensive support services to victims and their families. The therapist's role is to provide immediate crisis support to the victim and supportive family members; ongoing counselling to the victim with the goal of preventing long term negative trauma outcomes), supportive counselling to family members (parents, caregivers, siblings) to assist them to process their own reaction to the disclosure of the abuse, adjust to altered family dynamics, and support the victim, etc. The therapist also facilitates open communication with, and coordination of community services to assist the victim and family members to make other relevant agency contacts to assist them in a timely manner.

FORT (Foundation of Resources for Teens of West Niagara)

After School and Teen Drop-in Program

We provide homework help, tutoring, counselling, emergency services, healthy snacks, music lessons, creative writing opportunities, life skills workshops, art projects, money management/ budgeting seminars, and promote healthy living. Programs also include anti-drug/smoking/bullying, positive body image, promoting healthy relationships, and volunteer experiences that give back to the communities we serve.

Smithville FORT

The FORT currently runs an after-school program at an elementary school in Smithville. This program currently runs 5 days a week from 3:00-9:00. This expanded program offers recreation and life skill programming for youth in West Lincoln. Youth will also be able to access services such as housing help, resume help, community referrals, crisis intervention and healthy snacks.

Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region

B.E.S.T. (Better Emotional & Social Times)

Better Emotional & Social Times is designed to support children with learning disabilities and ADHD living in the Niagara Region. Through discussions, role-playing, games, interactive activities and direct instruction, children gain a deeper understanding of their learning disability and ways to advocate for themselves. With a low awareness of learning disabilities, it is imperative that individuals, even young children, learn how to be self-advocates to ensure they receive the support they deserve. Through learning LD basics, their own strengths and areas of need, children work on coping skills along with focusing on organization, emotions, listening skills, dealing with frustration and problem solving. A more active component has been added to this program to help children work on their coping and social skills in activities they will participate in at school (i.e. recess). The concept of mindfulness is also now included in this program.

Reading Rocks!

Reading Rocks is a one-on-one literacy program for children struggling with a reading disability. Participants are matched up with a trained volunteer-tutor who conducts an informal literacy assessment to collect pre-test information used to compare with post-test scores as well as to assist the tutor in program planning. The participant-tutor pair work together for one hour, twice a week for a total of 16 sessions. During these sessions, participants are increasing their literacy skills making them stronger readers, increasing their self-regulation through goal setting and increasing their self-esteem by working in a positive environment where they can reach their full potential. Participants and tutors create a motivational workstation, a stand-up board displaying the child's goals and accomplishments.

MS Society of Canada - Niagara Peninsula Chapter of Hope

Kidz Klub

The goals and objectives of the program are to: a) Support children and their family affected by MS; b) Provide children with access to recreational activities; c) Enable children affected by MS to meet others in the same situation and share their experiences in a fun, supportive, informative and an empowering environment; d) Provide age-appropriate information on MS and improve children's knowledge of the disease; e) Assist in the development of coping skills necessary to prepare for future challenges; e) Encourage young people to communicate with parents and relatives; f) Foster connections in the MS community and e) Learn from children about their needs, strengths, and experiences related to living with a family member with MS in order to assist in developing ongoing programming relevant to the local needs of children.

Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre (CARSA Inc.)

Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP)

The Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP) is an educational program delivered to elementary students. This program is designed to empower children by providing strategies that help to keep them safe, strong and free in the face of dangerous situations. These strategies are presented through problem solving discussion, role play and question and answer period.

The RAFT

Home From School

Home from School is a community based housing preservation program that works in conjunction with Niagara Region Housing rent subsidy allowance program. Participants are at risk youth who are precariously housed and in danger of becoming homeless. This situation forces teens to choose between remaining in school or acquiring basic needs for food and shelter. As a result many at risk teens drop out of school and leave their home community. The initiative helps participants access resources and increase self-sufficiency needed to maintain school attendance, secure housing and develop a social safety net in their home community. Moreover the rent subsidy allowance puts market rent rates within their budget. Services include advocacy, life skills training, mentoring, emergency hostel access, family reunification where possible and community integration.

Youth Reconnect

The Youth Reconnect Program focuses on reconnecting hostel youth to their community and supporting the development of personal independence. With the help of a community team consisting of representatives from education, mental health, Ontario Works and their prime case worker a community re-integration plan is developed. The program provides individual case management and support services to help youth get their lives back on track. The program focuses on four domains education & retaining, employment support, community reintegration and the development of a social safety net. The program assists youth to become independent and contributing members of the community.

Steps to Independent Living

This is a transition program to help at risk youth move to successful independent adulthood by acquiring life skills that enable them to become independent and self supporting members of the community. This is part of a two step program designed to support and enhance existing community services and works with youth on two levels. The Steps to Independent Living Program seeks to help youth acquire independent life skills and strengthen their social and emotional capacity necessary to live on their own. The program works with our Youth Reconnect and Outreach that seeks to reconnect youth to the community and establish a social safety net.

Scouts Canada - St. Catharines Area

Scouts Canada Core Programs

Our 24 core programs operate in churches, schools and community centers throughout St. Catharines & Thorold. Programs generally run weekly from September to June. In addition, outdoor camp programs are run every weekend, March break week and throughout most of the summer for our youth members. We also operate a number of one day programs, generally on Saturdays. On average, a youth involved with a Scouting core program will participate in 160 hours of programming with at minimum of two camp experiences per year.

Strive Niagara

Postponing Parenting Till You're Ready

A preventative program where teen mothers speak to other high school students, grade 7 & 8 elementary school students and other community agencies regarding their experience as a teen parent addresses the reduction and empowers the speakers. The peer to peer presentations provides a setting whereby students can engage in frank discussions about the impact of parenthood and the life altering changes that accompany teenage parenting.

St. Catharines Outreach

Programming for children 0-6 through quality licensed child care. Educational attainment and specialized programming for young student parents. Parenting and child development. Positive parenting practices. Pre- Employment programming. Professional and personal growth development. College recruitment.

YMCA of Niagara

Youth Action School Programs

The YMCA of Niagara’s Youth Action program is for all community youth ages 9 to 14. Youth do not have to be a YMCA member to participate. Programs are offered throughout the Niagara region, and consist of three components: School Programs, Friday Night Programs and Dances. Since 1985 Youth Action has been offering youth a safe and positive environment in which they can learn new skills, participate in a wide variety of activities and socialize with friends in a safe environment, while meeting positive role models. Youth Action School Programs incorporate the principals of YMCA Healthy Adolescent Development and provide youth with the opportunity to gain Developmental Assets that will help them become healthy adults, and give them the foundation to make positive life choices. To accomplish this all School programs are designed with specific outcomes in mind: participating in vigorous physical activity, positive social interactions with peers and leaders, feeling safe, welcome and included, introduced to structure and expectations, give input and have choice, and, most importantly, to have fun.

YWCA Niagara Region

Children's Program

This program is designed to support girls as they transition from girlhood to adulthood. The programs and activities that the girls will access will give them knowledge and skills to deal with the challenges that they may face through this transitionary time. This will be accomplished through the S.T.E.P.S (Sisters in Truth, Equality, Power and Strength), the annual Power Being a Girl Conference, High school Lunch Drop in Program and the Youth Engagement Counsel. Each of these programs teaches the girls about healthy relationships, positive social behaviours, self esteem, leadership and making positive choices.