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Street Youth Job Action believes in people so they can believe in themselves

Street Youth Job Action

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"SYJA really made a huge difference in my life" — graduate of SYJA

Street Youth Job Action (SYJA) supports homeless youth in Vancouver through a double dose of employment and tough love. Workers must show up on time, well-rested and drug-free to join a street clean-up crew. They must also show pride in their work and a good work ethic.

It’s a strategy that’s produced results, as every graduate from the SYJA program has moved on from life on the streets.

“SYJA really made a huge difference in my life,” says one graduate. “Having them on my resume allowed me to get off welfare. They gave me much more than a paycheque. I got more confidence in myself since they trusted me. Also I learned that responsibilities are not necessarily a bad thing.”

In support of this program, Vancity and the Vancity Community Foundation have provided several grants and donations, and Vancity has invested two years of funding and technical support through the Social Enterprise Fund, a collaboration with BC Social Venture Partners, to grow the business and employ more youth.