When people think about — and talk about— people who are experiencing homelessness in Langley, they are usually thinking about the people that live on the streets and in our parks. While this is the most visibility form of homelessness, there are people who are experiencing homelessness that go unnoticed.
There are people that “couch surf” who have no place to call home which includes people of all ages, including youth and seniors. At the April 25th Council meeting, I heard from a group of students from Brookswood Secondary and LSS that gave a presentation on homelessness and youth.
This group found that 162 students in Langley secondary school experienced homelessness in the 2015-16 school year. Trying to learn while not having basic needs met like housings is a near impossible task; it can impact people for the rest of their lives.
Vitality Dance Company, which is Langley-based, created the following video to bring awareness around youth who are experiencing homelessness in Langley.
This is a very powerful video, and serves as a call to action to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness in Langley. The City of Langley recently adopted a new Homelessness Strategic Plan. Action item number 7 is to support the feasibility of developing a youth safe house.
I for one am in support of working with other levels of government to get this built for Langley, and I know I’m not the only one on Langley City Council that wants to get this done. This is a first step, but we have to start somewhere to give young people a safe home.