Provincial Youth Housing Action Plan
A key pathway into youth homelessness is aging out of the foster-care system at age nineteen. In fact, it is referred to as the “super highway” to homelessness. Youth aging out face poverty, trauma, discrimination, and a lack of housing or support resources to meet their developmental needs in order to prevent homelessness. Many young people do not have the privilege of family and need a community of support to bridge their transition to adulthood while fostering interdependence.
During COVID-19, emergency measures have been in place by MCFD to ‘pause’ the aging-out process for youth in care across BC. This allows youth to remain in their current placement. Transition planning has been challenging, with youth in some cases receiving short notice that these emergency measures have been extended until September 30th.
As a result of this ‘pause’, The BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness (BCCEYH) is anticipating a significantly larger cohort of youth aging out across BC at the end of the September. The actual numbers of youth are not yet known. We are proposing a campaign to drive urgent action over the next month to raise awareness of the situation and put plans in place for all youths coming to the end of their time in care. This is an emergency and a real opportunity to make sure these youth do not fall through the cracks and risk ending up homeless.
The campaign will aim to match as many youth as possible with appropriate housing options for the end of September. Where these options cannot be found, we will work with the Province to request an extension of care for youths aging out.