May 10, 2019
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Open Door Youth Services Centre
371 Festubert Street
The Open Door is the newest of the 30+ programs operated by the Cowichan Valley Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-CVB). Youth Outreach Team staff are on the organization’s front lines tackling homelessness and substance abuse in the Cowichan Valley. In addition to receiving food, clothing and using shower and laundry services at the Open Door, youth are able to speak with a nurse or schedule an appointment with a nurse practitioner, make use of counselling services and receive help with addictions. They are always invited to connect with caring and welcoming staff. All services are free of charge.
Homelessness and housing instability is a real experience for the youth that our Youth Outreach team supports. Although shelter housing is available for adults at Warmland House and the new Women’s Shelter, there are currently no youth shelter beds in the Cowichan Valley. Many of these youth are in the early days of addiction and homelessness. Given the right supports, they would have the potential for recovery and to lead full, healthy lives.
CMHA’s Child and Youth Services Division also employs eight mobile Youth Outreach Workers. They work in teams of two to cover the Cowichan Valley on foot or in the Youth Outreach mini-van. Young people who find themselves on the outskirts of supports and services that many of us take for granted are aided by the teams who provide a bridge to supports in the community. The team steps into their reality, and walks beside them as they try to navigate the world. Our Outreach mini-van frequents camp areas and other temporary sites to supply homeless youth with such necessities as water, food, clothing, tents, blankets, and even basic first aid. When not working at the Open Door, the nurse or nurse practitioner often rides along on these visits.
Join us at the Open Door’s Open House and Grand Opening on Friday, May 10 from 1:00pm-3:00pm. Light refreshments will be served and MLA Sonia Furstenau will be in attendance to cut a cake prepared by our crew at Bikeworks.