Donor Stories

Changing Lives & Helping Youth Achieve What’s Important in Their Lives

It takes a village to raise a child, and no one knows it better than those who work with youth directly in supporting them through their challenges.

Recognizing that youth have different needs than adults, Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) opened two new youth support recovery homes in Vancouver in 2018, with help from Coast Capital Savings.

“We tried to create a space youth could call home, be cared for in a family environment, feel safe and thrive,” says Devika Ramkhelawan, Manager, PCRS.

The two homes, named Alder House and Sequoia House, provide two five-bedroom, substance-free recovery homes for youth struggling with substance use issues and mental health challenges. House parents provide 24-7 guidance and support, empowering youth on their journey to recovery and independence.

These homes allow vulnerable youth between the ages of 16 and 24 to address their substance use issues in a safe environment with access to clinical counselling, in-home group work, and links to medical and community services. Vancouver Coastal Health clinical counselors and addiction specialists will help these youth create a comprehensive treatment plan, including aftercare that better prepares them to cope with the ups and downs in life.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without this place,” says Lisa, a youth graduating from the program. “It’s helped me dramatically in getting clean. Just the environment being all homey and the staff always being there to support you – there’s such a nice vibe to it. It feels comforting.”

Coast Capital Savings has been a champion in supporting youth-focused initiatives that break down many of the barriers to independence young people can face, helping vulnerable youth achieve what’s important in their lives.

“For every young person you help, there’s a ripple effect,” says Maureen Young, Director, Community Leadership at Coast Capital Savings. “The impact affects not only the youth and those immediately around them, but also our whole community.”

Coast Capital Savings’ contribution aided in renovating the two homes to create the supportive, comforting home environment Lisa felt helped her succeed. She is now transitioning from Sequoia House to independent living while attending college to study psychology.

“I’ve been through some things, and I would eventually like to work with youth to prevent them from going down a similar path,” says Lisa. “It’s pretty simple – youth need someone they can go to, someone they can trust and who won’t judge them in any way.”