Province joins in bid to house Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows youth at risk

BC Housing comes to table in a collaboration with stakeholders striving to secure supportive housing

Youth homelessness is a very real issue for many young people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and many community leaders and stakeholders have been working towards a solution. Friday, Sept. 18, the provincial government joined in the efforts. (Arnold Lim/Black Press Media files)

No youth should have to spend a night on the streets, or stay in a situation that is unsafe, said Korleen Carreras, who joined several local politicians Friday in lauding next steps in a housing solution for vulnerable youth in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

“We are grateful the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is committed to working with the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows,” said the school board chair.

The province announced Friday it will be working with the local and federal governments, the First Nations community, and the school district in developing a proposal for “urgently needed homes” for young people at risk or experiencing homelessness in the community.

MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare touted the news.

RELATED: Slight decrease in homelessness in Maple Ridge

“All young people in our community deserve a safe, secure, and nurturing place to call home,” said Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows. “The barriers that keep vulnerable youth from accessing housing do not need to limit their future potential, if we give them a safe home and the tools and resources to succeed.”

The provincial government has agreed to join the other community leaders already at the table in developing supportive housing for youth in this community, vowing that BC Housing staff will be working out details with the community partners.

“It has been inspiring to see so many levels of community leadership work together to advocate for this project,” said D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge – Mission.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and delivering a dedicated supportive housing option for our youth is a great example of community care.”

The new supportive housing will provide much-needed secure accommodation for at-risk youth and connect them with the resources they need, said Carreras, who was joined in welcoming the provincial involvement on this project by Katzie First Nation chief Grace George.

RELATED LETTER: Is Maple Ridge’s approach to homeless and drug problems really helping?

“I am extremely happy to have witnessed the evolution of this project. Youth of today face many challenges and as leaders we must ensure that we strive to meet their needs and protect their futures. I look forward to development of this amazing project,” George said.

Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall also heralded the province’s investment in the community’s youth.

““Far too many youth find themselves grappling with abuse, poverty, addiction, mental health, and a less than desirable family and social dynamics that can also lead to homelessness,” he said.

“Given their age and limited experience to be able to access support, they are some of the most vulnerable in our society. Providing housing, especially with 24/7 wrap-around supports, would provide them with critical necessities that have the ability to change their current and future quality of life,” Dingwall said, applauding the collaboration.

Maple Ridge’s Mayor Mike Morden was also excited to see the initiative moving forward.

“Early intervention is critical for youth at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. We appreciate this commitment from the province to provide a safe place for young people in Maple Ridge to take on their challenges and facilitate better outcomes for their lives,” Morden said.

“The introduction of this safe house aligns with our community social safety initiative, filling an important gap in our housing continuum. We look forward to working together to ensure this much-needed resource provides the most effective support to youth in our community.”

The 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver in March pegged the number of homeless people in Maple Ridge at 114, which was down by 10 from the 2017 count of 124. Of those, 79 are in shelters, and 35 are unsheltered.”

The count didn’t offer specific youth numbers for Maple Ridge, but across the region the 2020 data shows that homelessness among young people continues to decrease, with people under the age of 25 accounting for eight per cent of the homeless population this year, compared to 16 per cent in both 2014 and 2017.

.

______________________________

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Homelesshomeless housingmaple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge Bears posted “big bear hugs” to everyone who has worked toward better co-existence this year. (Facebook)
Ten fewer bears have been shot in Maple Ridge

Conservation group celebrating success this year

RCMP were called to an assault in the 23700-block of 110 Ave in Maple Ridge Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to The News)
PHOTOS: Assault in Maple Ridge sends three men to hospital

RCMP were called to a residence Tuesday night

NDP Leader John Horgan, left, and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson wear face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 during campaign stops. A provincial election will be held in B.C. on Oct. 24. The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck
Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows voters have been wooed by parties

In the last day for advance polls, there’s strong voter turnout reported ahead of Saturday’s election

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Trevor Halliday, middle, and Bruce Gabara right, roll a giant pumpkin onto the scale to be weighed. (Pascale Shaw/Special to The News)
Pumpkin weighing 197 kilograms takes first place in Maple Ridge contest

Trevor Halliday wins second annual Whonnock Giant Pumpkin contest.

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read