A $10

Grant helped create ‘home-like’ atmosphere

  • Feb. 2, 2011 11:00 a.m.

A $10,000 grant has provided some much-needed furniture and appliances for the Beat the Streets youth program.

The money comes from the First West Foundation’s Envision Financial Community Endowment and went to Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services (ANS), who run the program.

Beat the Streets, which is located inside Building 272 at 3089 – 272 St., provides homeless teens with access to food, counselling and employment services.

The mentorship housing component of the program can accommodate up to four homeless youth in sites within the community.

Centre Point Community Services provides the building rent-free, but furnishings and kitchen appliances were needed to create a more comfortable home-like atmosphere.

Ten to 15 youth drop in nightly to access the showers, laundry facilities, kitchen and lounge area

“Access to affordable housing is a major issue for youth in Langley — they’re usually forced to either couch surf or sleep on the streets,” said ANS neighbourhood executive director Lynne Topham.

“So it was important for ANS to build a space that met their basic needs but didn’t feel institutional.”

“ANS has an obligation to meet the needs of the local community and the drop-in youth centre was a critical component of that,” said First West Foundation executive director Seline Kutan.

“The Foundation is pleased we could help a non-profit in our community provide the necessary service.”

The Foundation has donated more than $1.6 million in grants over the past 14 years.

For more information, visit www.aldergroveens.com

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