Funding is a challenging issue. Competition for both capital and operating dollars – whether from government, corporate or private sources – is very competitive. Calculating costs of a specific program at a large organization like Covenant House is complex because of the interconnected nature of the programs.  The Rights of Passage and the Transitional Housing programs are just two smaller pieces of the broader services that Covenant House provides.

For example, some administrative, program and management staff work for the agency as a whole or in multiple programs. Youth in ROP are able to access meals provided in the shelter/crisis care. The ROP program is housed in the same facility as the shelter and there is shared physical infrastructure. Other on-site programs are available to all Covenant House youth including ROP. For example, Covenant House Toronto offers an on-site school, medical clinic, job skills training and a mental health day program. 

Consequently, it is very hard to indicate the exact amount of money needed to create a similar program elsewhere. The costs will depend upon the size of the program, location (urban vs. rural vs. northern), the integration with other services/facilities, the depth of program offerings etc.  

CHT: The Transitional Housing program at Covenant House costs about $1.7 million annually.

However, the Transitional Housing Program budget can be broken down as follows:

72.8%$1,243,960 Staffing
3.6%  $62,108 Program Costs
6.7% $114, 404Food
3.3%$56,537Mentor Program
6.7%$114,365Physical Structure (includes Occupancy costs, furniture, equipment, amortization and maintenance)

Total - $1,708,435

Covenant House Toronto’s 2014 annual report provides the following information:

Operating Expenses - $20, 532, 552

  • 66% Youth Programs
  • 28% Fundraising, development and communications
  • 6% Management and administration

Investment in Youth Services - $13, 442, 956

  • 59% Shelter and Crisis Care
  • 18% Community Support Services and Outreach
  • 13% Transitional Housing
  • 6% Public Education including Runaway Prevention
  • 4% Health Care

CHV: According to the 2013 Annual Report Covenant House Vancouver’s Rights of Passage program costs about $1, 860, 737 million annually.

The ROP budget can be broken down as follows:

20%Program Costs

Covenant House Vancouver’s annual report in 2013 provides the following information:

Operating Expenses - $12, 099, 583

  • 65% Program Services
  • 27% Fundraising, development and communications
  • 8% Finance and administration

Program Services Expenses - $7, 865, 411

  • 54% Shelter and Crisis Care
  • 19% Outreach/Community Support Services
  • 24% Rights of Passage
  • 3% Public Education 

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The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness acknowledges with thanks the financial support of The Home Depot Canada Foundation. Thanks to the staff, partners and service users (past and present) of Covenant House Toronto and Covenant House Vancouver who assisted in the development of the toolkit by taking part in interviews, providing data and resources or reviewing information.

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