On behalf of Lizzy Ambler

We are pleased to announce the opening of three new youth homes in Vancouver.

“Without youth homes like this I would have had no hope. I would have had nobody there going hey, let me help you.”

Fialka, Youth Peer

Three new youth homes – including a low-barrier house – are now open for young people experiencing homelessness, mental health and substance use problems.

Youth Haven, a new five-bed, low barrier home recently opened in East Vancouver. VCH, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and Directions Youth Services – a division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver – have partnered to provide the home, which will care for up to 120 youth every year and will offer temporary housing as well as substance use, mental health and public health supports on site.

Using a “no questions asked approach” the home is available to vulnerable teens – including those who may need support in taking the first steps to overcome drug or alcohol issues.

In other words, youth (aged 16 – 19) can walk in the door with their pets and possessions – no questions asked. This is the first low-barrier youth home in Canada. It’s a safe place for youth to come. It gets them off the street. They can come for a meal or a shower or just the night.

It’s also a place for youth to get connected to counselling and substance use services.  We know that some homeless youth won’t go to shelters for a variety of reasons, but this is not a shelter, it’s a home, with connections to health care and other supports that youth desperately need.

VCH is also partnering with Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) to provide 10 new youth beds at two homes; one for 16 to 18-year-olds and another for 19 to 24-year-olds, including those transitioning out of government care. The two homes are located in Vancouver and were purchased by BC Housing.

Our ultimate goal for these homes and all of the changes made through the CYMHSU strategy is to ensure our youth feel connected and supported throughout their journey to recovery. These new homes will provide a warm, supportive and welcoming place for youth struggling with mental health and addictions so they can work towards recovery, healing and independence.

For more information on today’s announcement, please visit (Link to NR). More information on the overall strategy can be found by visiting: www.vch.ca\childyouthstrategy

Please also feel free to contact us with any questions at cymhsu@vch.ca

Best regards,

Lizzy Ambler