Life Skills, Food Security & Health
Aunt Leah’s life skills programs provide valuable resources and teach participants the essential skills needed to navigate living on their own. Youth and mothers learn through community workshops, hands-on experience and expert counsel.
Aunt Leah’s food programs help youth from care, and young moms & their children, avoid hunger plus learn the skills to make nutritious, affordable meals. Aunt Leah’s Food Network helps stock these programs, by collecting and re-distributing foods that only hours previously were for sale on store floors at full price.
Aunt Leah’s offers accessible onsite clinical counselling and health care supports through strategic service partnerships. When young people ‘age out’ of the child welfare system, they often also ‘age out’ of pediatric medical and mental health services as well. An onsite clinic and counselling services helps respond to this issue.
Our Life Skills & Food Programs:
Branches AYA Life Skills Program
is a 3 to 6 month program for former youth in care wishing to pursue life skills, including training, education and/or employment. Eligible participants will receive Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) funding, a Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) program that provides living funds and educational supports for up to 4 years. Eligible youth can access these funds non-consecutively, from the time they turn 19 to their 27th birthday.
Essential Skills Program
The Essential Skills program offers a variety of weekly workshops for current and former foster youth. These workshops help participants gain valuable life skills, connect socially, and give them opportunities to participate in creative and recreational activities. A healthy, delicious meal provided for everyone attending the workshop.
Cooking Club is a 12-week program that helps young moms from Aunt Leah’s House and the Thresholds Program learn how to prepare tasty, nutritious meals on a budget. Aside from giving low-income moms access to fresh food, our students gain valuable job skills through preparing food in our kitchen and following FoodSafe standards.
Fresh Food Network & Mom and Baby Program
The Fresh Food Network collects and re-distributes fresh foods that only hours previously were for sale on store floors at full price. This food is re-purposed at Aunt Leah’s to provide the ingredients for nutritional meals to moms and their children, and to stock an emergency food cupboard for youth.
Connections is dedicated to permanency planning and increasing cultural connections for youth and families attached to Aunt Leah’s Place. Connections encourages exploration of each participant’s roots with the goal of linking each individual with long-term permanent connections that increase coping mechanisms and protective factors.
This program works to increase the level of cultural safety and permanency at Aunt Leah’s Place while also acting as a compassionate response to the over-representation of First Nations youth in care.
Spoons Up is an online guide of accessible, free and low-cost food resources in the Lower Mainland designed with youth leaving care in mind. Each location has been personally visited by allies with lived experience and has been included because it offers quality food and is safe and welcoming for youth.
In partnership with Fraser Health Authority, Aunt Leah’s participants have weekly access to an on-site clinic and nurse practitioner who both treats and refers our young people on to other health services.