What is Street Life?
Street Life is designed to engage street-involved youth in the Commercial Drive area of East Vancouver in meaningful relationships to help them move towards a safe, healthy and holistic well being. We use a converted RV as a mobile drop-in youth center where the focus is on building relationships, reputations and referrals.
Why is there a need for Street Life?
Street Life exists as a way to bridge a gap into the lives of the teens that frequent the area. We hope to provide a safe, non-judgement space , where they are free to be themselves and given the opportunity to build relationships with caring adults. The Commercial and Broadway area is known for its shops and fun restaurants but not so widely known for the things happening under the surface: drug trafficking, gang recruitment and sexual exploitation. We hope to combat these issues by providing a hopeful, encouraging and life-giving alternative.
What else is provided?
As well as meaningful relationships with these youth, we also hope to provide for their basic needs. On the two days that we visit the area we often bring out peanut butter sandwiches, hot chocolate, hats, socks, mitts etc. We are also a place of resource for these youth, helping them to connect to the services and programs that are needed help them move toward a abundant life.
DTES Outreach: As part of our intervention strategy, we are developing outreaches to youth immersed in the challenges of homelessness, poverty, addiction and sexual exploitation in the Downtown Eastside. We aim to find a healthy balance between compassionate relationships and community development.
Genesis: We have partnerships with a local alternative schooling program where we provide support to the teach and run specific programs for them such as cooking clubs, and art classes.
Step-up: We are developing volunteer opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful volunteer work that will help them discover a sense of purpose and dignity. We hope to use this as a launch pad to see youth move towards a healthier life.
1-1: We provide 1-1 mentorship for youth who need that extra support to achieve the goals they have.