Today if a young person is relocating to a new city or in crisis and in need of assistance, information is only a Google search away, provided they have access to the Internet.

But imagine being one of these young people in the 1970s, trying to navigate these situations without technology.

In 1976, SYC identified a need for a printed resource with information to assist young people who were new to the city, living alone or experiencing homelessness. The City Survival Kit was published quarterly and included useful topics like where to access food, transport and recreation. It also provided some pointers on youth specific issues and helpful phone numbers where young people could access assistance with housing, employment and health issues.

city-survival-map

A quote from the 1979 SYC Annual Report said:

“The need for the publication grew out of the increasing numbers of young people coming to the city to live, work or study. It seemed that in many cases, these young people arrived ill-equipped to survive in the city – lacking accommodation, employment, adequate finances, social and emotional support systems (friends and relatives) and knowledge of the community.”

Initially the publication was aimed at country students who were moving to the city for education or employment. However, it grew in popularity over the years for those located in the metro area and not only SYC clients, but school groups too. In fact it prompted the creation of a group program that SYC ran within schools to help students prepare for the next stage of their lives.

It was also an opportunity to help the young people focus on employability and skills and get prepared for finding employment.

The City Survival Kit evolved over the years and by the 1980s had developed into a 100 page booklet with the support of key sponsors and other local service providers. Some of the content is still relevant today and provided the foundation for our “Where to Go” publication which is available through HYPA’s Get-A-Place program.