I (Laura Manca) recently posed a question to Anna (a street entrenched youth) the other day. I asked her “What's the most important thing to you about Street Life?”
She hesitated as if she was too shy to say it. Then slowly she began to allow the thoughts that were percolating pour out. “Well its fun..and there is food…and, well..” she hesitated again then finally she really opened up.
“Well, you guys care. You care about us. You take us out and listen to us. You actually get to know who we are. Most adults don’t really take the time to do that.”
There it was, her full cup of why Street Life was really important to her. Sure Street Life provides fun, games, resources, referrals but the key ingredient to what makes it a success is relationship.
Did you know that 70% of kids who are “at risk”, succeed against the odds when they have one significant person investing in their life?
You can help make it possible for Street Life to literally transport these significant people and create space for them to invest in the lives of at risk youth in East Vancouver by helping to keep Street Life on the Road!
In BC 167,000 young people live in poverty, thats 1-in-5 children who lack the basic needs of life. Nearly 59,000 of these kids live in group homes, shelters and institutions, and 42,000 children are reported runaways. Whether its through violence, addiction, or self-injurious behaviour, teens are dying due to a lack of adequate support across BC, especially within Vancouver.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Canadian teens and in the 2015 Homeless Count, 200 youth were counted as experiencing chronic homelessness, a number that has grown in Vancouver over the past 10 years.
Young people are hurting, and they’re desperately searching for a way out of their painful situations. Drugs, violence, gangs, and music won’t satisfy what they’re searching for, only healthy relationships will help.
This is exactly what Street Life seeks to provide, while also inviting other members of the community to join us in this transformative process.
Street Life provides the only mobile youth center in Vancouver—a renovated 25 foot RV. The RV provides not only a safe place to gather, but a sense of home and place to meet with caring adults. Practically, youth usually get a hot meal, and when available, clean clothes, blankets, and toiletries.
The RV runs two nights a week, outside the Britannia Community Centre just off Commercial Drive and is supported by a team of Youth Unlimited outreach workers and committed volunteers.
Beyond the RV, outreach staff meet regularly with youth to provide practical and emotional support, mentorship and referrals. We work in constant collaboration with other youth service providers to ensure the needs of young people are being met without duplicating resources. These services range from Counsellors, Work Placements, Youth Shelters, Addiction Specialists, Health Professionals and more.
In order to keep doing this work, Street Life needs to pay off the Street Life RV by April 30th, a cost amounting to $11,500.
We need YOUR help!
Would you consider investing into the lives of vulnerable and marginalized teens by contributing towards this financial goal?
Learn more: https://vimeo.com/69035653