Chilliwack – DECEMBER 18 UPDATE – Switchback, the new supporting youth housing project for Cyrus Centre will open December 21. That is move in day. Executive Director Les Talvio told FVN that the push was to have the facility up before Christmas to provide emotional support in, what has turned out to be, the most challenging year ever ( and most deadly) for vulnerable street youth.
The low barrier project has the mandate to assist youth and young people into having the skills to re-enter “society” by giving them basic skills that you and I think are common place. From how to make meals and doing laundry, to group counseling, understanding finances etc. There are single apartments and the two bed room units are for young moms and their kids.
All photos FVN/Cyrus Centre
ORIGINAL STORY – SEPTEMBER 20 – Cyrus Centre is working on developing a new supportive housing project for youth aged 16-24. Earlier this summer, BC Housing in partnership with the City of Chilliwack purchased a newly and beautifully renovated apartment located off downtown. The purpose of this project is to provide supportive housing for the most vulnerable youth in Chilliwack, many of whom are affected by challenges like street-entrenchment, substance abuse, and mental health.
In an update, the new facility has a name – The Switchback. The name “switchback” signifies a road leading up a mountain, often with a series of 180° turns. So, it could signify a radical change in direction, a path that looks less then straight but leads eventually to the top of a mountain.This project will help youth ages 16-24 facing challenges like homelessness, poverty, mental health and addiction find stability in housing. It also will provide a supportive community who will partner with them in achieving their goals.Plans are well underway in developing programs and supports for youth residing at The Switchback, which is why we are thrilled to welcome Thrive Collective. Thrive Collective is a multi-disciplinary team that features Registered Clinical Counsellors, who will provide individual counselling for youth who may have experienced trauma.
The model created has two Program Support Staff who are on site and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The apartment will also have a Life Skills Program Facilitator available for regular and ongoing teaching for residents on things like housekeeping, hygiene, health, budgeting, and facilitating opportunities for education and employment. These skills will all contribute to the resident’s future goal of being able to live independently. There will be a case manager who will be working with the residents on their “bigger picture” plan as they seek to move forward into market housing.
Currently, the building has 8 one-bedroom units and 8 two-bedroom units.