Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter

When it first opened in 1980s, the old heritage house in a downtown Victoria neighbourhood quickly became a refuge not only for local youth but also for those from as far away as Alaska and Quebec. Here was a place to turn to for short-term housing when there was nowhere else to go - when situations at home had broken down or emergency help was needed.

Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter (KEYS) was the first home in BC to address the specific needs of young people age 13 to 18. In fact, it was the only youth-specific emergency housing shelter in BC until Vancouver set up a similar program. Typically, emergency shelters like Streetlink and Sandi Merriman House for women will only take in youth aged 18 or older.

Without KEYS, teens might end up on the street, or remain in unsafe situations in their homes. Instead, they are provided with a safe bed at night, good home cooking, chores to perform - and youth care workers skilled in recognizing the language and behaviour of you that support positive change.  Staff brings parents, guardians, social workers and crisis intervention teams together to help youth chart a new course.

To contact the youth shelter please call their 24 hour line: (250) 386-8282 or you could send them an email:

Their website is:

[2018] We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Victoria Foundation for their generous grant of $40,000 and to Flintstone Construction for their remarkable donation of $5500. Their support and commitment towards the repairs to the crumbling foundation of the Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter were instrumental in making a difference in the lives of the youth in our community. We are deeply thankful for their invaluable contributions that will continue to have a lasting impact.