Maple Ridge MLAs welcome next steps towards supportive housing for youth
MAPLE RIDGE –MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare say that Ridge Meadows is on the path to a housing solution for vulnerable youth. The New Democrat provincial government is working in partnership with municipal, federal, school district, and First Nations community leaders to develop a proposal for urgently needed homes for young people in Ridge Meadows who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
“All young people in our community deserve a safe, secure, and nurturing place to call home,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows. “The barriers that keep vulnerable youth from accessing housing do not need to limit their future potential, if we give them a safe home and the tools and resources to succeed.”
This week, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing committed to joining community leaders at the table to develop a proposal for youth supportive housing for the Ridge Meadows area. In the coming months, BC Housing staff will be working with community partners on the details for the project, ensuring that it will meet the unique needs of Ridge Meadows as it moves forward to the next stage of development.
“It has been inspiring to see so many levels of community leadership work together to advocate for this project,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge – Mission. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and delivering a dedicated supportive housing option for our youth is a great example of community care.”
Since 2017, the New Democrat government has delivered hundreds of safe, affordable homes in Ridge Meadows for families, seniors, and other people left behind by the housing crisis and the inaction of previous governments. Dedicated supportive housing for young people, with 24/7 supports, will be a key part of the overall housing continuum.
Grace George, Chief, Katzie First Nation
“I am extremely happy to have witnessed the evolution of this project. Youth of today face many challenges and as leaders we must ensure that we strive to meet their needs and protect their futures. I look forward to development of this amazing project.”
Bill Dingwall, Mayor, City of Pitt Meadows
“Far too many youth find themselves grappling with abuse, poverty, addiction, mental health and a less than desirable family and social dynamics that can also lead to homelessness. Given their age and limited experience to be able to access support, they are some of the most vulnerable in our society. Providing housing, especially with 24/7 wraparound supports, would provide them with critical necessities that have the ability to change their current and future quality of life. We are pleased to support collaboration with our Ridge Meadows partners and welcome the province’s investment in our youth and our community.”
Michael Morden, Mayor, City of Maple Ridge
“Early intervention is critical for youth at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. We appreciate this commitment from the Province to provide a safe place for young people in Maple Ridge to take on their challenges and facilitate better outcomes for their lives. The introduction of this safe house aligns with our Community Social Safety Initiative, filling an important gap in our housing continuum. We look forward to working together to ensure this much-needed resource provides the most effective support to youth in our community.”
Korleen Carreras, Chair, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Board of Education
“No youth should have to spend a night on the streets or stay in a situation that is not safe. We are grateful the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is committed to working with the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to support our most vulnerable youth. This new supportive housing will provide much-needed secure accommodation for at-risk youth and connect them with the resources they need.”