One of the fastest growing communities in Canada, Abbotsford has been home to Youth Unlimited projects for over 30 years. More recently, incidents of gang violence rose sharply, landing Abbotsford in international headlines as its homicide rate rose to the highest in Canada. However, thanks to caring donors like you, Youth Unlimited’s presence in the community is helping make Abbotsford a safer community for youth (and thus everyone) from all walks of life.
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C-21 Youth Centre
A local hang out, C-21 is a safe place for teens aged 13 to 18, dealing with a myriad of painful issues like bullying, abortion, cutting, suicide, drug abuse, peer rejection, and homelessness. Most teens involved with the Centre live in extremely troubled home environments. Outreach workers mentor these teens while also attempting to build up the families endeavoring to raise them. The youth centre offers regular meals, Bible teaching, drop-in times and a myriad of youth-friendly activities.
Over twenty years ago, three of our teens were killed in drunk driving accidents. Devastated, but determined to turn those tragic incidents into a catalyst for change, the late Al McLean began the SafeRide Home program. As the name suggests, the program ensures that teens have a safe transportation option to protect them from potentially dangerous situations. Equipped with two vans, Youth Unlimited staff and volunteers stay out until 2:30am ensuring more kids get home safe in Mission, Abbotsford and Aldergrove. While in the vehicle, workers are intentional about striking up meaningful conversations with youth about the issues they might be wrestling with.
Abbotsford staff help hundreds of youth each year by bridging gaps at under-resourced public schools. They provide support for breakfast programs, homework clubs, athletics, noon hour supervision, and Christian clubs, as well as mentorship and tutoring in an at-risk youth classroom. Through these activities, Youth Unlimited provides valuable support at a critical juncture in the lives of youth. Many teens don’t feel they can open up to parents or teachers, but even some of the hardest teenagers form relationships with Youth Unlimited staff and are mentored and supported by relatable people who also care about their growth as a person.
Youth Unlimited has a registered clinical therapist on staff, where teens are referred to by outreach workers and volunteers. This greater level of expertise is particularly necessary for youth struggling with issues of trauma, abuse and deep family dysfunction. The counselor works closely with teens, parents and couples. We celebrate the fact that after counseling, many clients take steps to move into healthy new territories—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
• For counseling information contact (604) 857-7202.
Abbotsford Youth Unlimited Office
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM-4:30 PM (closed 12:00 PM-1:00 PM)
2760 Emerson Ave.