An opportunity to learn more about youth homelessness and how to address it is being offered to the community later this month.
On Wednesday, May 16, MP John Aldag’s Cloverdale-Langley City Youth Council is hosting a public town hall to raise awareness of youth homelessness, decrease the stigma around it, and provide tools on how to help.
Although difficult to estimate how many youth have no fixed addresses, it is estimated there are 50 homeless youth in Langley, and as many as 500 more at risk of becoming homeless, the council said in press release.
“The plight of youth homelessness in our area has consistently been pushed out of sight,” said Youeal Abera, a member of the youth council.
“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.”
The aim of the youth council is to ensure that no young person in the community is without stable housing. The council says 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.
“Youth homelessness is a cause for compassion, and that is why we should take action,” said Jessica Jahn, youth council member.
The town hall will feature a panel of speakers, including Alison Nichol from Encompass Supports, who helps run the newly opened Langley Youth Resource Centre, and Peer-Daniel Krause from the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, who will provide information from the 2017 homeless count.
Members of the youth council will also present a toolkit containing practical information for all community members to help prevent and respond to youth homelessness.
The town hall will take place at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Langley Campus, 20901 Langley Bypass, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in room 1804. Cookies and fruit will be provided and free parking will be offered (parking passes available in the classroom).