“All I knew was the city; I didn’t even know people could snowboard or ski down a mountain the way they do in Whistler. It’s a whole other world. But it was time. Time to get away. Time for fresh perspective. I was ready.”
Matty, Work 2 Live graduate, 2015
Do Matty’s words resonate with you, or someone you know? Our flagship Work 2 Live program is currently looking for three more young people to join us in Whistler this fall. Participants use the program as a compass to literally rebuild and transform their lives, shifting their futures from streets to peaks. Read on to find out what’s involved, who can apply, and where it can lead you.
What do I get out of Work 2 Live?
Firstly, we’ll give you a stable, affordable place to live, in subsidized housing with other participants. You’ll have access to 24 hour support to help with any issues.
Then, we’ll provide full-time employment with Whistler Blackcomb. You could work in food and beverage, rental, retail, ski lift operations, or guest services. Watch these videos to find out more about what working for Whistler Blackcomb is like. We work with a dedicated team of managers at Whistler Blackcomb to ensure you succeed in your new job.
Crucially, we believe that being in the outdoors, participating in mountain sports, has a huge positive impact on well-being. So, we make sure that all our participants get the chance to make the most of Whistler’s unforgettable terrain. In winter, we’ll provide snowboards and lift passes so you can head up the mountain whenever you want. And every week we organise Ride Days for the whole Work 2 Live crew, so by the end of the season you’ll all be shredding hard. Throughout the year you’ll also get the chance to try your hand at mountain biking, white water rafting, ziplining and plenty more!
Finally, we provide dedicated one-to-one support throughout the year. In the first six months, a Zero Ceiling youth worker will meet you for one-to-one meetings, group activities, workplace assistance, and general support and advocacy. After that, you’ll be paired with a mentor from the community to support you as you become fully independent.
Who are we looking for?
The Work 2 Live program is designed for young people at risk of homelessness, to give them the chance of an independent, healthy life in a mountain community. It’s a chance to change your life, and the participants who find it most rewarding are independent, motivated to work hard and committed to improving their circumstances.
However, we have found that participants who need a high level of support, have mental health issues that need daily attention, and those with drug and alcohol dependencies often struggle to succeed in our program. This is due to the limited resources at Zero Ceiling, as well as the lack of 24/7 support programs in Whistler.
Where can Work 2 Live take me?
Everyone who joins the Work 2 Live program is unique, and takes something different away from the program. For some, it’s finding a new job that they love. Others discover a passion for snowboarding or mountain biking. For most, it is simply the opportunity to start again in a new place, with new people and new interests that changes their lives. Perhaps Tyler, one of the first ever Zero Ceiling graduates says it best:
“Zero Ceiling gave me the opportunity to get out of the cycle in the city with no job and no place to live. When you are living on the streets you have no safe options — life consists of staying up all night to stay warm and then finding a safe place to sleep during the day. I’ve been here (in Whistler) for 10 years now and I’ll be here for another 10.”
Tyler discovered a place he loved in Whistler, and many of our graduates stay much longer than the one-year program. But Zero Ceiling graduates have gone on to do all sorts of amazing things: flying helicopters in Nelson, training the First Nations Snowboard Team, teaching skiing in Japan, or working as a massage therapist in Vancouver.
Work 2 Live gives participants the skills and resources to build an independent, healthy, happy life, whatever you want it to be. If you think you could seize that opportunity, or know someone who could, submit an application today.
How do I apply?
The application deadline is Monday 9th October 2017.
Eligible applicants will be invited to an interviews at Directions Youth Services, Vancouver on 11th October. Successful applicants will start the program at the end of October.