MAPLE RIDGE – New Democrat MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare, along with Minister of Children and Family Development Mitzi Dean, announced at a community meeting on June 5th that Maple Ridge will be getting a new pilot Youth Emergency Shelter (YES), set to open this fall.
“Children and youth in Maple Ridge deserve to be safe and supported, and this new shelter will be a place that vulnerable youth can go to help get on their feet,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. “We’re stronger when we work together, and securing a space like this for youth in Maple Ridge has included dedicated work and advocacy from the community, local government, local First Nations and the province.”
The Ministry of Children and Family Development is working on a youth emergency shelter model that can exist within the network of care as part of the new Specialized Homes and Support Services, and have chosen Maple Ridge as the site for the pilot.
“We have been advocating for a space like this in Maple Ridge for a long time, and it’s great to know that soon there will be 24/7 care for vulnerable youth in our community,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “Supporting the vulnerable youth in Maple Ridge is extremely important and this will help youth access aid on their own terms.”
“We recognize that sometimes youth who are in crisis can’t or won’t access existing services, and need a safe place to go, no matter what the time of day or night,” said Children and Family Development Minister Mitzi Dean. “As part of our new Specialized Homes and Support Services, the ministry has developed a self-referred, low-barrier, 24/7 service youth emergency shelter model to address this need and I am happy to announce today that we will be piloting this model here in Maple Ridge, thanks in part to the advocacy of local service providers and local leadership.”
This youth emergency shelter model is part of ongoing work by the Ministry of Children and Family Development to both provide a continuum of supports to meet the needs of children and youth in the care system and taking steps to ensure that wherever possible, children and youth can live in safe, healthy, and nurturing families, strongly connected to their communities and culture.
The youth emergency shelter model will be a self-referred, low-barrier, 24/7 service that will provide supports and overnight accommodation where needed for youth up to the age of 18. The shelter will also create pathways for vulnerable youth to access long-term support.
Dan Ruimy, Mayor of Maple Ridge
“I am thrilled that Maple Ridge has been chosen to pilot the youth emergency shelter program. This much needed support will benefit vulnerable youth in our community by providing a safe space 24/7. We have worked diligently across the community and government for a program like this and it’s great to see it coming together.”
Nicole MacDonald, Mayor of Pitt Meadows
“Our community has been looking forward to a project like this, which will be a vital resource for our youth here in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. I’m grateful for everyone who put the work into making this shelter a reality.”
Alicia Erenli, Foundry Maple Ridge
“Providing options, safety, and opportunity are essential parts of supporting young people so they can thrive. This youth emergency shelter pilot will create space for these things to happen. I very much want that for the young people in our community.”