Moving out at 17

I’m 17 and really need to leave my mothers house. She is very mentally unstable and has a drug problem. I’m currently in high school and don’t have a job right now. I wish to move out and rent my own apartment so I don’t have to deal with the abuse, drugs, and overall better my lifestyle and be free of this environment so I can succeed. I would really benefit from an apartment of my own and have no issues working but I need help and financial assistance. Can you reccomend the best course of action for me? What do I need to do to ensure government assistance and the chance to get my own apartment? I suffer so terribly at home and really need to leave. 


Hello and thank you for your question.

We're sorry for the difficult situation you're in. Your health and safety is most important, and if you feel like you're in danger, please get help immediately. 

You can contact a Legal Aid clinic in your area and speak to an advisor for a free consultation on what your options are. You can also call or chat online with a counsellor at

Welfare, known as Ontario Works, is one of the options you should look into. To be eligble for welfare, you must:

  • live in Ontario
  • be in financial need (your household doesn’t have sufficient financial resources to meet basic living expenses)
  • be willing to make reasonable efforts to find, prepare for and keep a job (unless you have specific circumstances that temporarily prevent you from doing so, such as an illness or caregiving responsibilities)

To get the best help, we suggest going to an Ontario Works office and meeting with a case worker. They'll be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the process. Make sure you bring all the necessary documents to your appointment. 

If you're underage, please read our article on  applying for Ontario Works if you're under 18 on our website. 

We hope this helps. team

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