Work 2 Live Reference Form
Work 2 Live is a supportive housing and employment program for young people aged 19-24 who are experiencing homelessness or precarious housing. The program provides stability and opportunities so that young people can work towards personal growth and achieving their goals.

The program is based in Whistler, BC, and lasts for 12 months. All participants get access to:
• Stable, affordable housing
• Full-time employment in the tourism industry
• Life skills training
• Case management and one-to-one support
• Mental health support
• Outdoor adventure
• A supportive community

We rely on referring agencies to provide accurate information to assist us in selecting appropriate participants. The Work 2 Live program provides comprehensive support, but participation can means moving away from current supports to a community with limited social services, particularly in regards to drug and alcohol counselling. Most supportive services in Whistler operate Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Our experience shows that participants need to be independent, mature, and accountable to be successful in the program. Drug and alcohol use is highly prevalent in Whistler and those in our programs will likely come into direct contact with such activities. If a young person is currently working to overcome dependencies or abstain, Whistler may not be the right environment for them.

If you have any questions about the program before you make a referral, please don't hesitate to reach out to Lizi McLoughlin at or (604)-962-5000.


W2L participants live in staff accommodation and pay affordable rent (approx $600 per month). Zero Ceiling subsidizes rent for the first 6 weeks of the program. Participants share a bedroom with one other participant in a two-bedroom apartment. 24-hour support is available through the on-site resident advisor program. Zero Ceiling staff manage the apartments and help participants develop the skills to maintain stable housing.

W2L participants work full-time in front-line outdoor tourism roles in Whistler. Typically, they work in jobs related to: food and beverage, rental and retail, ski lift operations, and guest services. Pre-employment training, job coaching, and additional training is available to help participants succeed at work. Zero Ceiling works closely with workplace managers to provide high quality work placements.

W2L participants are supported by a Zero Ceiling Case Worker throughout their time in the program. They work together to identify and work towards goals, and overcome challenges. Case Workers provide one-to-one meetings, group activities, workplace assistance, and general support and advocacy. They are available seven days per week to support participants. Case Workers will connect participants to additional services e.g. counselling as needed.

Work 2 Live is an MCFD-accredited Life Skills program for young people with an Agreement with Young Adults. Our weekly Life Skills program teaches skills like budgeting, healthy eating, conflict resolution, job search skills, housing rights, and healthy relationships. All participants attend workshops and get one-to-one support from staff to develop their life skills.

Every week, the whole Work 2 Live crew meets for Ride Day: mountain biking in the summer and skiing/snowboarding in the winter. We start the season off with beginner lessons and gradually work up to intermediate terrain and beyond and are able to explore the trails of Whistler. We also try other adventure activities, such as zip lining, whitewater rafting, hiking and much more. All participants receive a seasons pass for Whistler Blackcomb so they can ski, snowboard, and mountain bike in their spare time too.

Zero Ceiling is a family, and participants build strong relationships with each other, staff, and program graduates. Our weekly Family Dinners program is a chance for everyone to connect by cooking and sharing delicious, healthy food. We also take part in community and cultural events together throughout the program.

No-one ever “ages out” of the Work 2 Live program. As young people transition to independent housing, we provide one-to-one support for as long as they choose. Many of our graduates still attend Ride Day and Family Dinner many years after leaving the program.

To apply to the Work 2 Live Program, you must:
• Be 19-24 years old
• Have no drug or alcohol dependencies
• Complete and sign the release of information form provided below

Those who find most success in the program are:
• Interested in working full-time in the tourism industry
• Happy to share an apartment with other participants
• Ready to work on personal goals and embrace positive change
• Interested in learning to snowboard, ski, or mountain bike

Priority will be given to young people who are currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

If you have any questions please contact

Lizi McLoughlin
Program and Development Officer
Zero Ceiling
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