Langley Township is putting up $250,000 in funds for a new integrated health and wellness centre for local young people, and is challengin the public to match it.
On Monday, Dec. 13, council voted unanimously to contribute $125,000 a year over two years, in 2022 and 2023, matching every dollar of community contributions towards building the new centre.
Council had considered simply giving the cash towards the project, but Councillor Bob Long moved that the funding be part of a matching fund campaign to aid in raising more money from the community. Coun. Eric Woodward, who had suggested in November that council hear directly from Encompass and the Foundry fundraising team, seconded Long’s motion.
“We’re asking the community to step up and give its $250,000,” Long said.
The Langley Foundry has already raised about 60 per cent of the money needed for the physical building, and is still seeking $850,000. If the community raises a quarter million dollars, matched by the Township, they will be more than halfway to their final goal.
Foundry is to be a centre for youths aged 12 to 24, with flexible delivery of a wide variety of services. It’s meant to bridge gaps in the treatment of physical and mental health services to young people who aren’t well served by traditional systems.
Once it’s open, Foundry will provide counselling for physical and mental wellness and substance abuse, Indigenous health services, sexual health and life skills training, career counselling and art classes.
Encompass expects that up to 1,000 youths will access Foundry for one reason or another annually.
A 2020 survey found close to half of those aged 12 to 24 in the Fraser Health region said they needed mental health services, but didn’t seek them out because they didn’t know where to go.
Langley’s Encompass Support Services Society will run the Foundry centre, one of eight planned around B.C.
Planning for a 7,600 square foot facility on Eastleigh Crescent in Langley City has already begun. The campaign for the new Foundry was launched in October, and it’s hoped it will open in 2022. The Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation is coordinating the fundraising campaign.
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