Every person has the right to a self-constructed life. This freedom is founded and nurtured from within, and is learned from the context of our lives.
THE DOORWAY was founded as an experiment in social change. The initial goal was to test a cost-effective method of assisting long-term street youth (aged 17 – 24) in moving to mainstream society.
Our methodology was developed as an alternative to the increasing costs of traditional programs, which foster dependence, rather than nurture independence.
During the development of our original project proposal, we conducted research with front-line workers in existing programs throughout Canada and the United States. The information we collected strongly indicated that a new direction was needed – a direction that allowed self-determination, ownership for the individual’s life and critically, accountability for one’s choices.
THE DOORWAY, a Youth Employment Society, opened its doors in Calgary in January of 1988, seeking answers to these questions:
What options work?
What are the barriers to accessing the available options?
What is the cost for someone to move from long-term street culture to being a taxpayer?
What emerged from our pilot project was a non-traditional approach that boasts a consistently high success rate.