Youth in east Vancouver face complex challenges. There exists a high number of youth who are vulnerable to gang recruitment, child prostitution, exploitation, homelessness and other street culture risks—and that number is growing.
“44% of Greater Vancouver’s homeless youth reside in the city of Vancouver”
“1 in 5 children in BC live in poverty” http://still1in5.ca/report-
To help these youth, our team in east Vancouver has created a number of programs that seek to build genuine relationships and meaningful and connections with the young people who they meet. We don’t do this alone – by partnering with local churches, schools, and community agencies, we provide youth with developmental opportunities for their whole person – mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual.
Street Life provides a safe space of belonging for marginalized young people, many of whom are street-entrenched (homeless, gang affiliated, trafficking drugs, etc.) or street-involved (participating in high-risk, street-level activities, but not fully consumed by the community). We offer relationships, referrals, and resources to these vulnerable young people, ages 12 – 25. Street Life provides Vancouver with the only mobile youth drop-in centre in the city, a renovated thirty-eight-foot RV. Which enables us to meet youth both literally and figuratively where they are at. The Street Life RV is currently operating three evenings every week, in three different locations across East Vancouver.
Creative Life is a community arts initiative engaging youth ages 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 provide opportunities in 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 storytelling and transformation that creative collaboration can initiate.
WHAT WE DO
Open Studio – a space for creative discovery and expression
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.
Mountain Life is a new community initiative that creates opportunities for youth ages 12-25 across the city to experience mountain adventures. Getting outside and being surrounded by trees, mountains is something that can bring a sense of peace, perspective and clarity which is easily lost in city life.
Our team of amazing volunteers and staff are stoked to share their love of the outdoor playground that lies just outside the city. We embark on activities such as hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding.
The Mountain Life team seeks to make connections and create partnerships with agencies and individuals who share a love of the outdoors – and introduce that love to young people who struggle to navigate life in the massive labyrinth called city life. #MtnLifeYU.