Physical Confrontation at a Youth Center


The incident took place at *Helping Hands* Youth Shelter in Toronto, Ontario on February 26, 2017 in the evening. Two of the youth in the emergency housing program engaged in a fight, resulting in injury as well as turmoil within the shelter. The conflict had begun when one of the youth Samantha had verbally assaulted a fellow youth member, Jane. Jane was attending the centre with her partner and their 2 year old child. The child was crying and the parents were not responding to the cries, so Samantha started a verbal fight with Jane. The verbal aggression had escalated into a physical fight. Staff at the Helping Hands Youth Shelter wanted to ensure that both youth remained in shelter and didn’t end up on the streets, so six staff members were involved in de escalating the incident as well as taking preventative measures to ensure a similar incident didn’t occur again. The youth were taken aside by staff and put in separate rooms, one with Jane, her partner and their child, and the other room with Samantha. Staff members tried to discover why the fight occurred and how their actions could be repaired.