Youth in East Vancouver (aka East Van) face complex challenges, unique from their counterparts east of the Port Mann bridge. In East Van, the poorest part of the World’s most livable city, exists a high number of youth vulnerable to gang recruitment, child prostitution, exploitation, homelessness and other street culture risks—and that number is growing. According to the 2011 Homeless Count, the amount of homeless youth in Greater Vancouver grew by 29% from 2008. Over half of those youth live in Vancouver—namely East Van.
To best help these youth, our strategic actions are:
- Prevention: Through our mobile youth centre and partnerships with alternative schools, we are there before the problems start.
- Rescue: A constant presence in the lives of East Van’s street-entrenched youth, we are developing plans to help girls exit the sex trade and to properly house homeless youth.
- Aftercare: Partnering with World Vision and Mission Possible, we provide youth rescued from the streets with meaningful employment opportunities in the context of life coaching and skills development.
We go where the youth are. No building? No problem. We’ve converted an RV into our own mobile drop-in centre which isn’t only cool, it’s practical and adaptable. Here, local youth hang out, get encouragement and support for safer and healthier life choices from committed volunteers and staff. Youth can also get practical help for basic needs like food and clothing. It’s not yet comprehensive, but it’s a start. With your help, it can be more!
Our Street Life Project runs year round, every Tuesday and Friday nights from 7:30-10:00pm at Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station. Just keep your eyes peeled for a refurbished black RV, some pumping music and a group of ridiculously awesome volunteers.
Creative Life is a Community Arts initiative engaging youth aged 12-25 in East Vancouver who face the challenges of homelessness, poverty and addiction. In Creative Life we celebrate the creativity and resourcefulness of youth living on the margins.
Through engagement in the arts, we give opportunity and a safe space for creative discovery, expression and community involvement, while enabling youth to find belonging and discover their capacity, identity and purpose.
We see each youth as having a unique perspective and a unique way to impact the world around them. We believe in the power of story telling and the transformation that creative collaboration can initiate.
WHAT WE DO
- Instructional workshops – for skill development in various art disciplines, facilitated by community artists.
- Youth lead projects – cultivate leadership, community involvement, social change and the development of soft skills.