A new pilot Youth Emergency Shelter, (YES), is set to open this fall in Maple Ridge.
The announcement was made by New Democrat MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare, along with Minister of Children and Family Development Mitzi Dean, at a community meeting on June 5.
“We have been advocating for a space like this in Maple Ridge for a long time, and it’s great to know that soon there will be 24/7 care for vulnerable youth in our community,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “Supporting the vulnerable youth in Maple Ridge is extremely important and this will help youth access aid on their own terms.”
The youth emergency shelter model that is expected to exist within a network of care as part of a new Specialized Homes and Support Services and is part of ongoing work by the Ministry of Children and Family Development to both provide a continuum of supports to meet the needs of children and youth in the care system and taking steps to ensure that wherever possible, children and youth can live in safe, healthy, and nurturing families, strongly connected to their communities and culture..
“Children and youth in Maple Ridge deserve to be safe and supported, and this new shelter will be a place that vulnerable youth can go to help get on their feet,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
Minister Dean noted that sometimes when youth are in crisis they can’t or won’t access existing services, even if they need a safe place to go. This new pilot will be a self-referral, low-barrier, and available at any time – day or night. Supports will be provided and overnight accommodation for youth up to the age of 18.
The shelter is also expected to create pathways for vulnerable youth to access long-term support.
City of Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy said he is thrilled that Maple Ridge was chosen for the pilot after working across the community and government for a program like this.
Nicole MacDonald, Mayor of Pitt Meadows, said the project will be a vital resource for youth in both communities and she is grateful for everyone who put in the work to make the shelter a reality.
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