In 2022, while working in the government’s social services sector, Jeffrey noticed an unsettling pattern: young fathers were in desperate need of support, social services and churches had resources available for young men – but nothing specific for young dads. The vulnerable ones were falling through the cracks.

“Vulnerable young dads face many barriers to support,” he says. “They are tired from working tough dead-end jobs, are economically disadvantaged, and suffer from relational deficiencies.”

Not having had a consistent father figure in his own childhood home, Jeffrey understood the need. It’s what drew him to Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited (GVYU) a year ago – and where he’s now breathing new life into the Young Dads program.

For two decades, GVYU has been a transformational resource for the Fraser Valley’s vulnerable young parents. Called Young Families,

our robust program first invested heavily in caring for young moms’ immediate and long-term needs; providing everything from groceries to child support, mentorship to trauma-informed counselling.

After a few years of supporting young moms, an interesting phenomenon was observed. Many of the children’s fathers, some of them still teens themselves, desired to be part of their kids’ lives—they just had no clue where to start.

In response, YU’s Young Dad’s program was born. It took on various forms, including mentorship, a sports league and a trades program. Post-pandemic, the program has been on hold, awaiting a visionary leader.

Jeffrey with a young dad at a Young Families BBQ.

Jeffrey and Young Families at Family Fun Day event at Oh My Land Club.

“I would often get frustrated seeing people get stuck, and think to myself ‘if only I could tell this person about the Gospel.” He felt that this was their best chance at getting what they needed to overcome their addiction or obstacles.

And Jeffrey knew from experience. “I struggled in my teens,” he says. “I considered dropping out of high school and getting into crime. It was a dark time, but I had an encounter with God that put me on a new path of healing and restoration.”

A career counsellor soon recommended Jeffrey talk with organizations he respected. After speaking with YU, he discovered the alignment in youth work approaches, and in May 2023, he joined YU to rebuild the Young Dads program.

Jeffrey couldn’t be more thrilled to be building relationships with young dads, creating a community of mutual support.

“These men need a place to grow in confidence to neutralize the life pressures they face,” he says. From his experience, dads are more responsive to working together rather than being helped or told what to do.

“Often these youth don’t know that they need help,” says Jeffrey. “Many of them are in desperate

need of encouragement, comradery and a community to support them. Connection barriers are huge, but, it’s always worth the effort.”

“When we help dads foster healthy relationships, it fosters healthy families and breaks cycles of generational issues. Our dads desperately need our support – for their sakes and for the next generation.”


Schools out, summer activities are ON!

Over the next two months, youth workers will take youth out of their everyday realities and into refreshing new environments: up mountains, into and onto lakes and the ocean, and away to the magic of summer camp.

Please pray that summer will continue to be a time of connection, healing, and fun, strengthening youth for the next school year.




On Friday, November 15, we’re sleeping outside to raise awareness and support for vulnerable and homeless youth across Greater Vancouver.

Last year, 255 sleepers joined together to raise over $282,000, providing much-needed support and necessities to youth in our community.

This year, our goal is $325,000. With your help, we can do it!
Register online or support a sleeper at


Our 34th annual Golf Tournament at Ledgeview Golf Club was a hit! Golfers, sponsors and volunteers celebrated YU’s impact and learned about the vision for YU’s future.

A huge thank you to everyone who showed up for our youth. Your dedication and support made this our most successful tournament yet, raising over $130,000… and counting!











My first word devastated my mother and was a catalyst for a major family move.

When I was around six months old, my parents relocated from Manitoba to Ontario to run a group home for vulnerable teenage boys. These boys, often with troubled pasts and stints in juvenile detention, found solace in playing with my brothers and I. However, they also taught us some less-than-desirable language. One evening, with guests over for dinner, I uttered my very first word. Was it “ball,” “doggy,” “mommy,” or “daddy”?

Nope. It was the f-word.

While some might find this amusing, my mother was horrified. Realizing it was time for a change, my parents decided to move back to Manitoba. They didn’t foster vulnerable youth again until I was in junior high. Despite this rocky start, my healthy parents guided me through my early years and greatly influenced my calling to work with Youth Unlimited.

Parents are the most important figures in their children’s lives. When the parents are teenagers themselves, they need substantial support to care for their babies. Without this support, young parents may struggle to instill proper self-esteem and self-worth in their children. Unfortunately, young fathers often receive little assistance. Being a teenager is challenging enough without the added responsibility of an infant. What impact does this have on the child’s future?

“Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.” – Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)

At Youth Unlimited we aim to change this by supporting both young mothers and fathers. In this month’s Connections, meet Jeffrey Chaters, a supportive presence in the lives of young fathers in Surrey, reinforcing their God-given value.

Thank you for enabling our outreach workers to love each young person as Jesus did, always advocating for the vulnerable and marginalized.

With deep gratitude,




Mark Koop

Executive Director