Maple Ridge proposes youth strategy

The strategy will address the physical and social well being of youth.

Maple Ridge city has come up with a draft youth strategy that addresses the physical and social well being of youth from 12 to 24.

Among other things, it suggests creating a one-stop location where youth can find local resources on a range of topics. Also suggested is creating the position of a youth advocate, who would push youth causes and ensure that the strategy is implemented.

Finding a way to help kids get around town, by creating a shuttle or youth ride-share program, is another recommendation, as well to work with other agencies to help youth gain job experience and life skills.

Kids can also be steered on to the right side of the law and a healthier life by providing more youth-oriented recreation opportunities that are affordable and accessible.

A staff report says that Maple Ridge has a higher proportion of youth than B.C. as a whole, with about 20 per cent of the city’s population between 10 and 24 years old, compared to 18 per cent for all of B.C.

Modus Planning, Design and Engagement was hired by the city to do the public consultation and develop a strategy.

Last year, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network identified youth as a vulnerable population.

The project also created the youth development wheel, which shows in circular form that youth have four needs that have to be met: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

A final form of the strategy will be presented to council for approval.