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One youth’s journey to independence and employment.

Transgender, Indigenous, marginalized and living in poverty in Toronto: The related challenges facing one 17-year old youth seemed insurmountable. The Lumenus Studio Drop-In Centre offered them hope, community and a sense of belonging. Studio staff deliver one-on-one support and guidance across different community programs in housing, mental and physical health, education and employment. The objective is to help participants find their sense of self while forging the confidence required to live well independently. When our 17-year old client first arrived, they were traveling hours by TTC just to avail themselves of Studio food services and support. Today, they are successfully working through mental health and employment challenges. A simple example of one of the barriers Lumenus helped remove was to supply our client with a mobile phone, provided by one of our retail partners. It kept them in closer contact with Lumenus services and other supports and helped them land a job they love, contributing to their growing confidence. We closed the gap between isolation and connectedness: A very small change for most of us – it was a life-changing shift for them.

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