Starting this Sunday, December 17th, we are thrilled to announce that we will be expanding our Drop-In and Outreach services to 7 days a week. Vulnerable and homeless youth will have access to critical services through our Outreach and Drop-In Centre as part of our Community Support Services (CSS) Program. Services will operate Monday to Thursday from 9am – 6pm and Friday to Sunday from 9am – 7:30pm. Faced with the seasonal weather changes, these supports are more valuable than ever to youth who are at risk of, or who are experiencing, homelessness.
Our Chief Program Officer, Chelsea Minhas, underlined that, “The needs of youth do not pause at the end of the business day, on Friday. We are excited to be able to expand our Outreach and Drop-In services to 7 days a week, to meet the need in our community. Young people will now have access to food, laundry, warm showers, harm reduction supplies, and a team of committed youth workers, every day. Our Drop-In numbers have reached historic rates, and we are ready to meet these young folks where they are at and let them know that we see them and they matter. The youth in our community are worth it!”
Community Support Services Program Manager, Jon Spiller, added that, “We are thrilled that CSS will be open 7 day a week. The youth will now have access to all the services that CSS provides, every single day of the year. As we all know, supporting youth extends beyond the Monday to Friday work week, and youth deserve access to support 365 days a year.”
We are expanding as part of our strategic growth, to increase supports available for vulnerable youth in Metro Vancouver, during a time when we are seeing shelter capacities at 100% across the city. There is an immediate need and we are committed to being a part of the solution, by expanding the quality of care that we provide. Our Drop-In Centre is a crucial sanctuary for young people to decompress safely, evidenced by the very high ratio of Drop-In. The need for this service has never been higher.
Our Community Support Services team offers an array of as-needed services, including street Outreach and the Drop-In Centre, for youth age 16–24 who are overcoming homelessness. Any young person attending our Drop-In Centre receives access to food, clothing and hygiene supplies as well as showers and laundry facilities. Youth workers are on hand for support, personal planning and goal setting. Appointments can be made with Registered Clinical Counsellors, while Registered Social Workers are also available for creating individual plans of action in collaboration with youth. We also provide access to recreational opportunities including yoga, soccer, baseball, hockey, and basketball. Referrals are also available for further social services as well as job centres and training programs. These, among many other services, will now all be available for vulnerable and at-risk youth 7 days a week, 365 days a year.