Maple Ridge MLAs misspoke about youth house funding

No such thing as Iron Horse Youth Safe House anymore.

There won’t be million dollars going to the Iron Horse youth house.

That’s because there is no such thing anymore.

Friday’s announcement on homelessness by local MLAs Doug Bing and Marc Dalton said $1 million will go to the Iron Horse Youth Safe House as part of an affordable housing initiative.

However, the safe house, where kids could stay on an emergency basis, closed two years ago, after federal funding ran out.

Instead, the money will go to some other housing project involving youth, although details are unknown.

“When we announced it, we didn’t have all the details,” said Dalton.

“I know the money is committed – how it will play – I don’t have those details yet.”

Bing on Thursday he still hadn’t heard any more about the project.

Tony Cotroneo, community services manager with the City of Maple Ridge, also wanted to clarify, that there will be no emergency shelter for youth.

“We’re not getting a safe house where we can refer local youth to. That’s not what it is.”

He said he wanted to make sure that youth understand that.

Mayor Nicole Read also hasn’t been told.

“Nobody has talked to us to clarify what services are being offered there.”

The emergency shelter part of the Iron Horse Youth Safe House closed in February 2015 after a lack of federal funding, followed by the day program’s closure in April 2016.

Christian Cowley, with the CEED Centre, notes there is no youth shelter of any kind in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.

“We need at least three shelters to temporarily house the 16 youth between ages 13 and 17 currently on our streets,” Cowley said in a letter.

Abbotsford, Chilliwack, North Vancouver, Surrey and Vancouver all have youth shelters.


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