In the spring of 2018, we were pleased to provide Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited with a Smart and Caring Community Grant for their Mobile Drop-In Centre project, thanks to our generous donors.
According to Youth Unlimited, their organization began in North America during World War II, later changing to Youth for Christ (YFC). Today, Youth Unlimited (known internationally as YFC), is a network of youth outreach programs worldwide. Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited is an international, non-denominational Christian ministry that, for over 75 years, has engaged young people to live their full life potential. Today, they have front-line youth workers across Greater Vancouver based in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, East Vancouver, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, North Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey.
The idea of Youth Unlimited’s Mobile Drop-In Centre all began when they decided that rather than designing a program that can only be accessed by those who come to their office, they wanted to reduce barriers and go directly to youth. Specifically, they were looking to create a way to take teams of caring and trained adults out into the neighbourhoods of the young people they serve. They hoped that by going directly to youth, they could begin effectively and proactively helping young people learn about the help that is available for them even before they might have thought to go looking for it.
This is when their work began on customizing an eye-catching vehicle that would hopefully create interest amongst youth. They decided to purchase a decommissioned yellow firetruck that was located in the US. Their team travelled down to Georgia to pick up and drive the firetruck back so they could begin the transformation. Through many hours of planning and hard work, they transformed the firetruck into an expanded space for youth to gather and access services. On September 13th, the Mobile Drop-In Centre was unveiled to the public.
Youth Unlimited shared early on that they are thankful for the many organizations and individuals that made this project happen, including:
- WCI Media Studios who donated the graphics, showing what they hoped the centre would look like once completed
- Get-Away RV who helped with the interior designs and working out a budget
- Lang-Fab Fabricators who donated the cost of extending the chassis of the truck to hold the additional box
- One of the owners of Valley Pulp and Sawdust who assisted with bringing the truck to Canada, doing several minor mechanical repairs along the way, and then made a $5,000 donation
- Fraserway RV who, through their foundation, donated funds to purchase the truck
- Sumas Fire Department who allowed the truck to be parked at their lot rent-free for three months when the paperwork was being completed
- Abbotsford Curling Club who donated the partial proceeds from an event at the club
- And many other organizations and funders who contributed to the project
To learn more about Youth Unlimited and the Mobile Youth Drop-In Centre, click here.
To learn more about the Smart and Caring Community Grant program, click here.