Local charity welcomes new van to help local homeless youth

Local charity welcomes new van to help local homeless youth
Beacon Community Services

A local seasonal shelter has opened once again and welcomed a donated vehicle to help homeless youth.

The Out of the Rain youth shelter is now open for 15 to 25-year-olds from 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. every night until Apr. 15, 2022. This year, Aragon Properties donated a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica van to assist youth, according to a press release from Beacon Community Services Friday.

Beacon Community Services CEO Tricia Gueulette says the new van will be used to help youth access the shelter, assist with moving those who have found housing and connect youth with community resources.

Manager of Out of the Rain and Homelessness Prevention programs Jenn Mortimer says the vehicle adds backing to provide the necessary support.

“We encourage these youth to hope and dream for a better life,” said Mortimer. “But that has to also be backed by practical supports. The vehicle will be a really important tool.”

Out of the Rain youth shelter services are provided by community and faith-based organizations, businesses and volunteers. It runs from Oct. 15 until mid-April each year.

“There are still far too many cold, hungry, vulnerable young people in unsafe conditions on the street,” said Gueulette. “Every year for more than 20 years, we’ve opened the Out of the Rain shelter to help keep them safe, warm, and dry.”

The community volunteers prepare meals and staff connect with youth and offer community supports. The space at 1450 Elford St. can host up to 25 youth at a time.

READ MORE: ‘There’s no more housing in Victoria’: Mayor says city’s indoor sheltering program full

Justin WaddellJustin Waddell

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