ABOUT ZERO CEILING
Zero Ceiling is a social service non-profit committed to ending youth homelessness in BC. We create a supportive, stable, safe environment where young people can focus on personal growth. Zero Ceiling’s approach is to put strong, positive relationships are at the heart of everything we do. We work towards equity and social justice for young people who have been discriminated against, excluded, and oppressed.
We operate in the mountain resort now known as Whistler on the shared, unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Lil’wat7úl (Lil’wat) Nations. Our programs serve youth and young adults facing homelessness in the Sea to Sky Corridor and Metro Vancouver, many of whom are Indigenous. We acknowledge the lasting and ongoing impact of colonization on Indigenous communities and are committed to decolonizing our practices and programs.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Our work is simple: give love and support. Through building genuine, life-long relationships, we help the youth in our programs carve out a space that is their own, where we can support them through successes and challenges. As we care for the individual, we must also strive to change systems of oppression that have marginalized them in the first place. This perspective extends to our staff, supporters, and community. We must care for each other so that we can care for the youth we serve.
At the centre of what guides us sits the individual — their strengths, their needs, their dreams, their purpose. We see and honour the inherent value of every single person, as they are, and respect that the young people we serve have experienced trauma in unknowable ways that require us to hear and act with unconditional empathy and love. We listen and we respond with unfailing, lifelong support.
Grounded in Relationships and Community
Well-being comes from the strength of the relationships and the community we build. Every Individual deserves to be embraced by a community that includes family — earned, chosen, inherited — staff, supporters, services, and partners. With nurture partnerships that are strong and transparent. We are surrounded by community, just as we are the community that surrounds others.
People need so much more than simply to have their basic needs met. We provide a sense of belonging and a safe refuge from which they can heal, take chances, and make mistakes. There is no better way to learn and grow than to experiment, reflect, and try again. Without a safety net, people face consequences disproportionate to the mistakes they make. We will be there when called, to provide a soft place to land, to catch people and hold them when they fall, and lift them higher without fear.
Interconnection: “The People and the Land are One”
Our connection to the land defines us; we aim for our time in nature to be more than recreation. The First Peoples of this land teach us that the land is us and we have the same responsibilities to it as we do to ourselves and our loved ones: to protect, be gentle with, and learn from it. We choose to lean into balance, seasonality, interconnection, and all the teachings of this land and People that have been colonized and oppressed by the systems of capitalism and patriarchy. We stand with the First Peoples and commit to being better allies in their fight for self-determination, truth, and justice.
Courage to Challenge
We will not falter in our drive for justice, equity, decolonization, and inclusion. We advocate for a world where systems of power do not create homelessness and exclusion for our society’s most vulnerable. Our courage to challenge starts with ourselves. Through relentless self-reflection, we push ourselves and our community to evolve, creating a world without youth homelessness.
Reduce youth homelessness and transform lives.
To provide young people experiencing homelessness with supportive housing, employment, professional support, life skills, and outdoor adventure that empowers them to live healthy and independent lives.
Zero Ceiling’s approach offers two programs for young people who are facing homelessness in BC. These young people have historically been marginalized and face significant barriers to safety, wellbeing, and connection. We work with many young people who are Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, and who have experience in the foster system. Through our programs, we offer them unconditional support, a sense of belonging, and a safety net.
WORK 2 LIVE
Work 2 Live is a 12+ month supportive housing and employment program for young people aged 19-24. We provide unconditional support and wraparound care so young people can build stability, skills, and support systems to have a healthy transition to adulthood. The program offers supportive housing, full-time supportive employment, life skills education, case management, outdoor recreation, and wraparound supports to help young people build healthy, autonomous lives.
The Adventure Sessions is an outdoor adventure program for young people aged 16-24 experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We offer no-cost access to the mountains of Whistler, BC for young people who have historically been excluded from the outdoors. The program offers snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and ziplining adventures in a safe environment where young people can relax, have fun, and connect to nature and each other.