YOUTH EMERGENCY HOUSING PROGRAM
Every night, there are homeless and vulnerable youth on Fraser Valley streets. Most of them have run away from an abusive home, were abandoned by their parents, have no money and no safe place to go. Cyrus Centre provides homeless youth, 18 and under, with a temporary, safe place to stay while working toward a long-term solution. Open referrals, 7 days a week.
- When they arrive, youth are often scared, sick, hungry and tired. Our first priority is to meet their basic needs:
- Medical attention
- A safe place to sleep
- A warm shower
- Clean clothing
There is no fee to stay at our shelters. All are welcome, provided they are not a danger to themselves or others.
When youth get settled in, a Youth & Family Worker will sit down with them, find out why they are here, how we can best assist and together develop a plan of care.
Our goal is to see families restored but that’s not always possible at least for the immediate so we help guide youth away from their immediate crisis and towards a safer and healthier environment. Youth may also be referred to our long-term supportive housing program, Babich House, which allows us to provide them with a continuum of care in an environment that feels like home.
EXTREME WEATHER SHELTER
Sometimes when youth aren’t ready to access services but the weather turns for the worst and they need a warm, dry place to be they will come inside Cyrus Centre where we will provide for their immediate safety. Cyrus Centre Provides a shelter and a warming centre for youth during extreme weather;
- A safe place to sleep
- A warm shower
- Warm clothes
SEMI INDEPENDENT SUPPORTIVE LIVING – BABICH HOUSE
BABICH HOUSE in Abbotsford provides semi-independent housing for youth, age 16 and up, who require a supportive and nurturing living environment. House Parents focus on empowering and equipping youth with experience, knowledge, and relationships which encourage success. We believe that, with support, nurturing, respect, tolerance and love, each individual will be empowered and equipped to make positive and lasting changes.
Youth dedicated to exiting the streets and improving their lives, thrive when they can live, work and learn together. Cyrus Centre’s Babich House is extremely successful at helping youth rebuild their lives.
Often, youth who are referred to Babich House have the least amount of life skills and are not ready to live independently.
Without families to help them, they lack basic skills such as budgeting, cooking, cleaning and goal setting. Many have been through repetitive cycles where they try to leave the streets, but they get overwhelmed or taken advantage of, and end up back on the streets, more desperate than before.
When youth apply to move in, they know it isn’t a free ride. They also know that they need structure, guidance and time to practice new life skills and behaviours in a safe, supportive and loving home. They are invested in making the big changes that will keep them off the streets for good, and the staff at Cyrus Centre support them every step of the way.
In addition to guidance, structure and support, they receive:
- A private furnished room
- 24-hour support from Babich House
- Help learning to clean and take care of household chores
- Help with decision-making, money management, time management, communication skills and conflict resolution
- Support maintaining employment and/attending school
- Help sticking to schedules (reminders of appointments and assignments)
Many of our youth have lived with violence or the threat of violence for much of their young lives. Feeling safe is a right we all have but one these youth may not have enjoyed. Babich House is a safe place, it is “home”. Harassment, violence, discrimination, bullying, property damage, possessing weapons and the abuse and possession of alcohol and drugs are not permitted. We provide a safe, secure and healthy place to live and learn. It’s a place where youth can deal with the past and develop confidence to move forward.
DROP-IN RESOURCE CENTRE
Youth drop in for many reasons; some need a meal, some need to find a way home; others need help to fill out forms so they can get ID, financial support or a job. They all need a safe place to be, love and acceptance.
At our Resource Centre, Youth Workers provide an array of “as-needed” services to youth.
Youth who have been out of the home, or on the streets, a long time are often resistant to accessing structured support programs, or even to use our Resource Centre at all. It takes a big first step for them to come inside. Quite often, coming in for a meal is the first step for youth to exit the streets. The Resource Centre is where they can check things out and see if they feel safe coming to us for help.
We build trust by responding to one basic need at a time, as asked. We take a “Let’s see what we can do” approach rather than saying, “We don’t do that here.” Whatever their reason for coming in, at Cyrus Centre, youth will always find compassion, acceptance, love and support.
At the Resource Centre, youth can get:
- Meals (lunch, dinner & snacks)
- Access to a Youth Worker for support and personal planning
- Referrals to other social services and community supports
- Employment assistance and referrals to job centres and training programs
- Help with repatriation
- Mediation and family reunification
- Access to clothing
- Assistance with housing search
- Use of our message board, telephone and mailing address
- Help navigating the court system
- Life skills training
YOUTH FOOD BANK
Our Foodbanks for youth are satellite locations of the Abbotsford & Chilliwack Foodbanks, providing bi-weekly hampers to youth in need. In addition to food, youth are provided with healthy recipes which can be made from hamper ingredients, referrals to life skills training and other supports as required. Supported by the Abbotsford Food Bank & Chilliwack Community Food Bank.