The Mission chapter of Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited, responsible for Mission Youth House (MY House) and Jesters Theatre, received a sizable donation to get their new program on the road.
The Fraser Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation (FVRCF) announced $100,000 in grants to support 10 local charities working directly with marginalized and vulnerable youth in the Fraser Valley, with each charity receiving $10,000.
Youth Unlimited’s $10,000 will go towards its new Youth RV program, which provides mobile services to young people.
“It was very inspiring to receive a grant fund for our organization from the FVRCF,” said Calvin Williams, Mission area director for Youth Unlimited and site manager for MY House.
“The funding we received has enabled us to launch our new Youth RV Drop-in at Mission schools. As soon as we launched, we were at capacity and youth are telling us how much they love this new program.”
The recently-established FVRCF received a wealth of requests for support after it announced its first round of available grants in March 2023.
“Community is at our core, and we’re dedicated to transforming the Fraser Valley into a safe and supportive community for everyone,” FVRCF board chair John Barbisan said in a news release. “It is a privilege for the FVRCF to offer grants to charities who are taking actionable steps to improve the lives of youth in the Fraser Valley.”
The second round of available grants will be announced by the FVRCF in the fall of 2023.
Meanwhile, Youth Unlimited’s MY House on Proctor Street flooded in March and closed for three weeks. Williams says a toilet overflow led to flooding throughout the building — on the main floor and in the basement.
The location reopened but will close again for several weeks while flooring replacements are installed for the upstairs, downstairs, main floor and basement.
Despite the temporary closure of the building , the organization will continue services for youth through the new RV program.
“A few [youth] started spiraling once it was closed [last time] and their regular routine of connecting with their safe space in MY House was gone,” Williams said. “We were just responding to their crises. Over a few weeks of that, it was wearing us down because in our normal routine at the house, we’ll have good experiences throughout the day.”
Williams says the MY House team will plan events with their Youth RV while the main location is closed to ensure positive experiences for the youth.
The number of young people making use of MY House is steadily increasing. Approximately 10 youth use the service per day, up from between two and five earlier in the year, according to Williams.
Youth Unlimited is also involved in the ongoing process of bringing a youth foundry to Mission.