Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM)

Families experiencing homelessness are mostly single parent families, led primarily by women. Young single mothers face some of the highest barriers to finding affordable, safe housing while providing for their children.

➕ Some of the challenges young mothers face include…

Affordable Housing: Young mothers often struggle to find safe and affordable housing. Discrimination based on age, family status, income source, and race add more challenges to their search.

Co-Signers and References: Many young women lack a co-signer for a lease or a reference from a previous landlord due to their limited rental history. Lower incomes and short credit histories can also make young women ineligible for many apartment units.  

Income Assistance Restrictions: People under the age of 19 in Nova Scotia cannot receive Income Assistance unless they can prove it’s not possible to live with a family member. This forces many young women to stay in unsupportive, and sometimes abusive, households or to seek supportive housing.

Health Risks: Without stable housing and support, young mothers and their children face health risks related to prenatal care, anemia, premature and low weight births, and exposure to violence from intimate partners or family members.

Instability: A lack of stability and routine due to rental changes and poverty can contribute to high levels of stress for both mothers and children. These children often face difficulties later in life including conflict with the law, teen pregnancy, and failure to complete school.

Supportive Housing for Young Mothers offers long-term housing, parenting support, and life skills development for young single mothers ages 16 to 24.  Through guided goal planning and wraparound supports, participants can begin to dream and work towards the future they want for themselves and their family.

“I did not have anyone to help support me in becoming a new mother. I was surprised to find out what a healthy home looked like. I learned to feel safe and create the stability needed to provide for my son and me.”

SHYM Participant


  • Young mothers ages 16 to 24
  • Young mothers in their third trimester of pregnancy or who are already independently parenting their child or children
  • Currently unhoused, experiencing housing insecurity, or in need of supportive housing

SHYM Program Supports Include

  • A safe, nurturing home to learn about and focus on parenting
  • Access to common areas such as a program room, children’s playroom, and backyard playground
  • Community programming, such as visits from mental health practitioners and public health nurses
  • Individual case management and home visitation support
  • On-site 24/7staff support
  • Private two-bedroom apartment units with a full kitchen and bathroom for each family
  • Skill-building programs, including fun family outings, parenting and life skills, and cooking programs
  • Supports for continuing education
  • Transitional housing options into long-term, affordable housing

How to Apply

To apply to for Supportive Housing for Young Mothers, please contact us to make an intake appointment. After being approved for the program, participants are placed on a wait-list for available units.

To make an intake appointment or to learn more about SHYM please contact: