Report calls for B.C. plan to end youth homelessness, informed by youth themselves

British Columbia needs to develop a formal plan to end youth homelessness in the province with the help of young people themselves, according to a new report.

The report, prepared by Kamloops youth advocate Katherine McParland and supported by the province’s representative for children and youth, was developed by consulting with more than 230 young people who had experienced homelessness.

“B.C. now has an unprecedented opportunity and policy window to develop a plan to eradicate youth homelessness so that no youth is left behind,” said McParland in a media release. “There is an urgency to this issue.

“The longer a young person is homeless, the more trauma and victimization they experience. There is no time to wait.”

The report highlights a variety of pathways that lead youth to homelessness, including unsafe family homes, unsafe or non-responsive foster care experiences, addictions and mental health issues and the affordability crisis.

A 2018 report found nearly 700 homeless young people living in Metro Vancouver alone, most of them either living on the streets or couch surfing.

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