MP John Aldag, Cloverdale-Langley City

Youth leading charge in addressing youth homelessness

A youth council is hosting a townhall meeting aimed at increasing awareness of the issue in Langley.

Youth homelessness is much more common than many people realize.

Langley alone has an estimated 50 homeless youth and as many as 500 more “at risk” of becoming homeless.

To help raise awareness about this issue, a non-partisan youth council, appointed by the local MP, is organizing a townhall meeting to address the issue later this month.

“The plight of youth homelessness in our area has consistently been pushed out of sight. That is why our Cloverdale-Langley City youth council has decided that enough is enough, and we are dedicating ourselves to bringing this issue to light,” said council member Youeal Abera.

It’s an event by youth, for youth, and it’s designed to raise awareness, decrease stigma, and provide tools to youth and others who want to help but may not know how to reach out, said the council.

Confronted by the increasingly complex reality of youth homelessness, members of today’s society have an increased awareness that they need to develop solutions and build ladders of success for vulnerable youth to climb, the team shared.

Key to understanding youth homelessness is the realization that it involves young people who are trying to survive without the supports that many of people take for granted.

Although, it is difficult to estimate the exact number of youth who lack a fixed address, the aim of the Cloverdale-Langley City youth council is to ensure that no young person in the community finds themselves without stable housing.

“Youth homelessness is a cause for compassion, and that is why we should take action,” shared youth council member Jessica Jahn.

The council feels that by understanding root causes, people are in a better position to empathize with youth who find themselves without secure housing, rather than adding to the existing stigmas they face.

The townhall event will feature a panel of speakers including Alison Nichol from Encompass Supports, who helps run the newly opened Langley Youth Resource Centre Hub, as well as Peer-Daniel Krause from the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, who will provide information from the 2017 homeless count.

The event is intended to explore solutions to youth homelessness and ways to best identify and support youth-at-risk of homelessness in the neighbouring communities.

Members of the youth council will also present a tool kit containing practical information for all community members to help prevent and respond to youth homelessness.

The townhall session takes place at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Langley campus, 20901 Langley Bypass, on Wednesday, May 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in room 1804. Free parking will be offered with passes available in the classroom.

The public is invited to attend including community-based youth service providers, youth advocates, teachers, other concerned members of the community, and most especially youth who want to learn about how they can help their peers who find themselves at risk of becoming homeless.

“Please join us in working together to ensure that no young person in our community finds themselves without stable housing,” said the council.

RELATED: New Langley Youth Hub set to open soon

Just Posted

Where to find community holiday feasts in Langley

A variety of groups are hosting free meals for the Langley community to fill up on.

Surrey boy’s birthday wish raises $13,500 for rescued farm animals in Aldergrove

Matthew Farden received a large donation from the mister Blake Foundation towards a sanctuary farm.

Langley Mounties get new tool to find drunk drivers

New legislation take effect this week that will allow broader breathalyzer testing.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

BCIHL Young Stars lose hard-fought hockey game to Kazakhstan at Langley Events Centre

Coach calls it ‘a great opportunity for those guys to have an international experience’

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Coquihalla closed between Hope and Merritt

The highway is closed in the northbound lane

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Lower Mainland man receives apology after getting kicked out of library

Mike Wilson fears the same treatment he received Nov. 2 by security guards will happen to others

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Most Read