Sojourn House’s Skills for Life program has been developed to settle and integrate “separated refugee youth” into Canada. A separated refugee youth is a young person between the ages of 16-24 who is seeking protection in Canada and has arrived alone without family or social supports. Skills for Life was designed to assist youth with life skills, counselling and social activities aimed at supporting them during their settlement process. This program has come as a result of Sojourn House experiencing a higher demand for specialized youth settlement services.

Separated refugee youth face distinct and complex barriers which require a unique configuration of services. Some of the challenges our youth face include: the lack of family supports, feelings of isolation, lack of English language skills, discrimination and poverty. The skills for life program is more than just a skills based program because these are not regular youth, these are young people separated by thousands of miles from their families and therefore require a more emotionally connected case management plan.

The skills for life program is a much needed service. It provides a safe and inclusive space to support youth as they navigate the complex immigration system and the challenging process of accessing services here in Toronto.


  • Support with all phases of the refugee determination process and landing processes
  • Assistance accessing educational programs including ESL courses, employment training and post-secondary programs
  • Coordination with external service providers
  • Community outreach
  • Orientation sessions and monthly tenant meetings
  • Building group activities, recreational programming and social activities
  • Experiential cooking programs
  • Mentoring
  • Technology training
  • Academic supports
  • Clinical assessments and one on one counselling
  • Life skills workshops
  • Assistance securing independent housing


Youth are referred to us by multiple community agencies. Youth may also be referred to the Skills for Life program through Sojourn House’s Shelter program. For inquiries on this program you may contact:

Admissions: Senior Director of Shelter and Housing (416) 864-9136 Ext. 240

Program information: Youth Social Worker (416) 864-9900 Ext. 225