Roots House Shelter


Pictou County Roots for Youth (PCRFY) offers safe and supportive shelter options for youth 16-24 of age who are experiencing homelessness. We offer an alternative to living on the street, as well as provide opportunities that support optimal youth development. Ultimately and ideally, the organization aims to end homelessness for vulnerable youth, although we understand that there are multiple factors that contribute to homelessness, and that securing and maintaining long-term housing is often precarious. Despite these factors, we work to harness local resources that support youth with housing and holistically, so as to eradicate homelessness overall ideally, or a current episode. 

PCRFY provides emergency shelter that is grounded in the theories of attachment, trauma-informed care, positive youth development, social emotional competencies, and resilience. The program emphasizes a Natural Supports Approach and holistic, relational, developmental, culturally-competent, and strengths-based strategies for working with youth.

The Roots House Youth Shelter has eight (8) beds for youth experiencing homelessness, offer a minimum three (3)-month stay.  The Roots House also offers three (3) beds per night for an emergency overnight stay. For youth who are only accessing emergency overnight stays, they are required to complete an intake and are then connected to Case Managers. As per standard protocol for the emergency overnight stays, the youth are only permitted to access the Roots House per night on a first-come first-serve basis.

Youth Navigation

Pictou County Roots for Youth staffs several Youth Workers, who assist youth involved in the program to overcome barriers and develop life skills, so that youth are able to make healthier choices and reduce the risk of further homelessness. The Youth Workers provide intensive case management specific to the client's individual needs, ensuring that services provided are relevant to the needs of the client. Youth Workers ensure that the program environment is positive and safe for all youth. All youth in the program are connected to a Youth Worker who provides advocacy, education and practice with life skills development, support with self-reflection and self-awareness development, and assistance with long-term goal planning (e.g., health, education, and employment) that will support youth in their successful transition to community living.


During the day, any youth can access Drop-In services at the Roots House Youth Shelter. Youth are welcome to and can access food, shower, toiletries, Wi-Fi, one-on-one staff support, referrals to local services/ resources, advocacy, harm-reduction support, and support with long-term health, education, and employment goals. 


Aspen House is a foyer model program designed to provide a safe and supportive environment where female-identifying youth 16-24 of age can overcome and manage trauma, begin to address the issues that led to homelessness or exacerbated homelessness, begin to rebuild their support network, and redirect their life path to a safer, healthier and more positive result. The Aspen House offers long-term housing and comprehensive support in a comfortable, safer, and more inclusive environment to young women who are at risk of experiencing life on the street. Before entering the program, youth may be experiencing ongoing housing instability, alongside additional risks such as addictions, trauma, family conflict, violence, and exploitation.

The Aspen House aims to support youth in building the self-confidence and independence needed to live a safer, healthier, and more positive lifestyle both at the Aspen House and in the community after their stay at the Aspen House. 

Aspen Houses focuses on the following core values and principles:

  • Education and Employment

  • Connection with Family and Natural Supports

  • Trauma-Informed Care

  • Strengths-Based Practice

  • Collaborative and Proactive Approach with a Focus on Prevention

Sprout Mobile Youth Outreach supports youth 12-24 of age who have and are currently experiencing housing instability, addictions, mental health, and a breakdown of Natural Supports. The program staffs a Youth Outreach Navigator who provides and connects youth clients with multiple support services. These services include low-income housing, the food bank, Income Assistance, trauma, mental health, and addictions programs and support, and family/ natural support mediation. The Youth Outreach Navigator meets youth where they are at locally and province-wide, in the moment, and offers transportation services as needed to various other resources and agencies in the community (or the province) where youth can meet their basic needs or get assistance with more long-term goals (e.g., health, education, and employment).

Community Cupboard

The Community Cupboard provides food, toiletries, and personal items to youth 12-24 years of age who would benefit from these basic needs. The Community Cupboard is located at The Nest Administration Office on 342 Stewart Street (Unit # 5), New Glasgow, Nova Scotia during regular business hours (Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)  

We acknowledge that the land that we live and work on, Mi'kma'ki, is the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725.