Inner City Youth

Providence Health Care's Inner City Youth Mental Health Program (ICYMHP) is a team of seven psychiatrists, two social workers, one occupational therapist and psychiatric nurse providing assertive outreach based treatment to transition aged youth (age 16-24) with mental illness. 

ICYMHP is a collaborative initiative that targets Vancouver’s estimated 700 street youth.  Recognizing the inherent challenges in reaching homeless youth, ICYMHP established strategic partnerships with shelters and housing sites in the downtown core. Along with managing and supporting the Youth Mental Health Housing Consortium, ICYMHP team members deliver clinical appointments and facilitate groups at 6 downtown sites. The philosophy of the program is based on the principles of attachment. Care is patient-centered and based on the attachment capabilities, needs and communication styles of each individual young person served.

Referrals to the Inner City Youth Mental Health Program are made through the Mood Disorders Association Clinic.

Renfrew House

Renfrew House located at 3402 Worthington Drive, Vancouver, is one of the newest additions to Providence Health Care’s highly successful Inner City Youth (ICY) Program, which provides comprehensive mental health and addictions services to young adults age 16–24 who are homeless or precariously housed.

Funded by the Ministry of Health and operated by Coast Mental Health in partnership with Providence Health Care, the six-bed home is focused on supporting young adults requiring a therapeutic environment that assists their recovery. 

Who will be living at Renfrew House?

Clients living at Renfrew House are young adults 24 years of age or younger who have experienced homelessness in Vancouver’s inner city, faced mental health/addiction issues and want treatment in a safe, structured environment that is substance-free. Clients may typically stay in the house for three to six months.

Who will be working at Renfrew House?

The home will be staffed by a minimum of two trained professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These professionals include youth workers, peer support workers, nurses, occupational therapists and psychiatrists from Coast Mental Health and the Inner City Youth Program.

What kinds of services will be provided?

While living at Renfrew House, clients will acquire the life skills necessary to move to long-term stable housing. Specific services include: meal planning, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, money management, goal setting, coping skills, career exploration and planning, and mental health and addictions support.

Why is the home operating in this neighbourhood?

Our clients are vulnerable and their recovery is helped most when they can have normalized environments, continuity of care and supports, and routines that distance them from the environments and activities that were negatively impacting their lives. This home was chosen because it fits the criteria required to provide a stable, positive environment for our young adults.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about Renfrew House?

Inner City Youth program contact:
Stephanie Gillingham, Operations Leader, Providence Health Care

Coast Mental Health contact:
Renay Bajkay, Program Director, Coast Mental Health

Coast Mental Health was created as a non-profit society in 1972 in response to a growing need in the community for services to assist people recovering from a serious mental illness.  Coast operates in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia providing housing for approximately 1200 people in various supported environments and offering a wide variety of programs and services to 3500 clients living in the community.