Access Youth Outreach Services
Finalist: Not-For Profit Of the Year
ACCESS Youth Outreach Services has been providing the ONLY youth specific street outreach services in the Tri-Cities area. For over 15 years, ACCESS has served over 3,000 youth annually = 45,000 contacts. They have literally saved lives! Serving youth aged 12-23, a mandate that was changed in 2016 so they could offer services to youth who age out of care at aged 19 and have limited supports.
ACCESS signature program is the award-winning Project Reachout (mobile outreach), a converted shuttle bus that travels the community engaging youth and providing support and services UNCONDITIONALLY, and after-hours.
The Youth Engagement Worker program that offers individual support to over 50 youth annually. Many youth struggling with mental health, substance abuse, anxiety, identity, isolation and more. Many youth are referred from SD43, MCFD, ACT 2, RCMP Victim Services, parents, and self-referrals.
The NEW program the Mall-based outreach housed in Coquitlam Centre. All programs are FREE, after-hours, open referral, and “meet youth where they are”.
ACCESS continues to meet the needs of street involved youth by adapting services to better “serve the youth”, rather than having the youth change who they are to receive a service. All of ACCESS’s programs are available after-hours. The youths needs do not end at 4:30 when most traditional services are closed.
Further, ACCESS must secure its own funding. Solely relying on grants, donations and fundraisers, they do not receive any ongoing funding from any source. In addition, they rely on volunteers and community support., yet more importantly, they employ staff that give up weekend evenings to be there for youth.