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CCS Expands Services to Youth

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April 10, 2019 at 10:42 am - Home, MyChilliwackNews
By MyChilliwackNews Editor

April 10, 2019 – Chilliwack Community Services Expands Services to Youth. In response to the needs of Chilliwack’s growing population, Chilliwack Community Services is excited to announce it is expanding youth programming in Chilliwack. They were successful in their proposal to increase funding for the CCS Youth Services, Community Recreation Program, from the City of Chilliwack. The city has allocated an additional $76,000 in efforts to address significant areas of needs and gaps in service for youth in the community. With the support of the Child and Youth Committee (CYC), including 34 agencies, the submission for additional funding at CCS was approved.  The funding will see expansion of programs for young people ages 9 to 18 across Chilliwack.

Specifically, the expansion and enhancement of the existing youth recreation program at CCS will be a valuable investment especially in the under-resourced neighborhoods of Chilliwack. CCS will:

  • *develop and implement a Youth Advisory Committee,
  • *expand and increase programming for youth ages 9 to 18, targeting under-resourced neighborhoods in Chilliwack including Rosedale and Promontory,
  • *develop and implement a third youth drop-in site to provide services to Sardis,
  • *increase community partnerships,
  • *increase volunteer recruitment and retention to support the sustainability of the Youth Community Recreation Program,
  • *increase the number of new participants and,
  • *expand and increase Afternoon Adventures Programming into 3 Middle Schools and then 1 additional Elementary/Middle School annually.

The Youth Community Recreation Program has served approximately 300 youth aged 9-18 annually. While there are existing programs targeting youth’s needs, gaps persist in the area of youths under the age of 26 in Chilliwack, one of the fastest growing demographics in the Fraser Valley. The program is critically placed within the community to support the younger population of youths who are vulnerable to high risk behaviors as they age into later adolescence and adulthood. It aims to enhance the lives of youth through physical, mental, social, and emotional recreational programs providing youth with positive role models, healthy activities and habits, volunteer and leadership opportunities, and a chance to be a member of the community. It specifically targets youths during after-school hours who would otherwise be unable to afford such activities due to barriers including low family income, lack of transportation, a lack of natural support systems, and an overall lack of accessibility. The program builds long-term resilience by keeping youths off the streets, thereby decreasing access to street-entrenched activities that put them at higher risk for drug use, criminal behavior, and future homelessness.

Diane Janzen, Executive Director stated:  “This is a pivotal addition to our services for youth in the community. We are so excited to be offering activity-based programming that enhances stability and prevents high-risk behaviors. This gives youths an opportunity to naturally grow within their peer groups and become the future leaders that we know they can be when given the opportunity! Thank you to the city for recognizing this need and continuing to support our vision.”

Chilliwack Community Services has operated youth services for many years ranging from counselling, recreation, education to housing through the Village and has more than doubled the number of young people it serves, now serving close to 600 young people every year.

 

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