A newly renovated multi-service youth centre is coming to the Comox Valley this spring from Foundry Comox Valley.
The facility will be available for youth ages 12 to 24-years-old and will provide free mental health and substance use counselling, primary and sexual health care, peer support and social services including employment supports.
Foundry Comox Valley says young people face higher rates of mental illness and substance use than other age groups. They say this has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and a facility is needed more than ever.
“Now more than ever, young people and their family members need a place to go where they can feel safe and find the help they need when they need it,” said Steve Mathias, Foundry BC Executive Director.
The facility has been made a reality with over $310,000 in donations from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. The donation will go towards the $1.9 million renovation project at the Foundry Comox Valley Building. The donation includes $10,000 from RBC.
Children’s Health Foundation CEO Veronica Carroll says the funding is necessary as there are differences in services between communities on Vancouver Island.
“There are significant inequities between the services available for youth in different communities across Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands, particularly those in rural and remote areas,” said Carroll.
“Children’s Health Foundation provided seed money for one of the first Foundry locations on Vancouver Island in 2016, and now, with donor support and a generous grant from the RBC Foundation, is pleased to make this important investment in the health and wellness of youth in the Comox Valley.”
John Howard Society of North Island says an anonymous donor has agreed to match up to $100,000 in donations. The agency has raised $57,000 towards this goal.