Durham Youth Services (DYS) operates Joanne’s House - the only emergency shelter within the Durham Region focusing specifically on homeless youth. Originally launched in April 2008 as a 10-bed shelter providing a temporary, safe living environment to youth between the ages of 16 and 24, DYS has evolved as the needs of youth have evolved.
Now with 13 beds, DYS continues to offer a number of comprehensive services which include shelter, drop-in, meals, clothing, food cupboard, shower and washroom facilities, access to telephone and internet services, assistance obtaining benefits, and advocacy negotiating the social service system.
DYS also works to ensure that residents can access other vital services including family re-connection, nutrition education, hygiene education, mental health counselling, nursing services, physician services, pregnancy counselling, parenting education, addiction counselling, life skills education, job readiness and job skills education, anger and stress management education and transportation to services.
DYS is re-shaping its priorities under a bold, new vision. This includes strengthening its focus on homelessness prevention among at-risk youth and working to end the stigma of homelessness. While DYS still offers shelter to homeless youth, it is working strategically to expand its range of programs in line with its vision, “To end youth homelessness in the Durham Region.”
Our Vision
To end youth homelessness in the Durham Region.

Our Mission

Provide programs for at-risk and homeless youth in the Durham Region to prevent homelessness, provide shelter and other opportunities that will support their success and end the stigma of homelessness.
Examples of how your donation will be used, include:
- Funding the Youth Reconnect Program, the only youth homelessness prevention program in Durham. In one year, we have successfully prevented over 30 youth from entering the homeless system. We have assisted youth and their families repair relationships and build healthier and happier lives.
- Purchasing items necessary for employment such as safety boots and bus tickets
- Art therapy supplies to promote emotional well-being
We thank you kindly for your support and generosity. Your help is instrumental in ending youth homelessness in Durham.Read more



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