Are you thinking seriously about moving out? If things are rough in your family, you might wonder whether you can support yourself if you leave home, and what kind of support is available to you.
In most Canadian provinces, it is legal to leave home at age 16. It can be hard to find housing when you’re that young, but there are some options:
Adult and youth shelters provide beds in an emergency. Some of these shelters provide other services as well, such as counselling, tutoring, and employment help. For the most part, you have to be 16 to stay at a shelter, but the age varies province by province. Many youth shelters cap their age limit at 24.
Housing provided by the government or non-profit organizations is available to people who make very little income. It can be difficult to get this kind of housing because there are often
long waiting lists.
I need money
If you do not have a job but have to leave home, you may be a candidate for social assistance. Social assistance is money gathered through government programs, which is then given to people in need. You have to apply to receive money from some of these programs, but not all of them. The application process can take a while, and you usually have to give a lot of your personal information. Click here for more information on social assistance programs in Canada.
Food banks are places where you can pick up free groceries, which are donated by people in the community. Some food banks have certain criteria for who can receive food in this way, but some banks will allow you to pick up food, no questions asked. Check out Food Banks Canada for information on food banks close to you.
To find out more information about emergency help in your community, try talking to your school guidance counsellor or a public librarian, or looking through the first few pages in your local phone book. These types of support really are a last resort. If you are facing an emergency situation, please give us a call. We can talk through any age-related restrictions to social housing or social assistance, and provide referrals to those resources that are available in your community.
Back to top