Date: April 9, 1997
                                           Dept. File No.
                                           C.C. File No. 4102-1

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     Director of the Gathering Place

   SUBJECT:  Update on Youth Resource Centre of Family Services


   The General Manager of Community Services submits this report for


   This report responds to Council s resolution of April 18, 1996.

        THAT staff meet with Family Services to discuss linkages with
        the operation of Youth Resources Centre and the Gathering


   There were media coverage and community calls to Council in early 1996
   when Family Services entered into discussions with St. Paul s Hospital
   about opening a night time youth drop-in centre at the vacant Comox
   Street building.  The plan went ahead and the lease with St. Paul s is
   up for renewal in August of this year.

   Over the past year the Program Co-ordinator of the Gathering Place sat
   on the Advisory Board of Dusk to Dawn, the Youth Resources Centre
   operating out of the Comox Street building at St. Paul s Hospital.  In
   addition the Director of the Gathering Place and Cheryl Mixon, the
   Director of Family Services, Youth Services, met regularly to discuss
   the above Council motion.  This interim report attempts to bring Council
   up to date.


   Currently the Dusk to Dawn programme has a lease at St. Paul s Hospital
   until the end of August.  Family Services intends to call a community
   meeting in May and then will seek support for an extension of the lease,
   probably one year at a time.  The Dr. Peter Centre has recently opened
   on the second floor of the Comox Street building, a project in place for
   two years, an indication that the building will not face demolition for
   at least that long.

   The Director of Youth Services for Family Services is satisfied that
   Dusk to Dawn is filling a valid need.  The centre is currently open 5
   nights a week, from 8pm till 6am.  The challenge has been to manage the
   site and the program on the available funds of $200,000.  The Rotary
   Club of Vancouver is very supportive of the project and plans to
   fundraise for it.  Cheryl Mixon of Family Services asserts that the
   project has  taken the cover off the degree of difficulty for kids in
   Downtown South, revealing the true level of sickness due to drug use,
   bad nutrition, and exposure to the elements.  (See attachment from
   Family Services).

   Cheryl Mixon has a concern that the Dusk to Dawn program, wherever
   situated, requires a designated floorspace of 1,000 square feet in which
   their  stuff  would remain day and night, and out of which their staff
   could work, day or night.  Such a need causes some difficulty at the
   Gathering Place where all space is designated for various program uses. 
   To make a joint effort work would require more time and considerable
   flexibility on both sides.  It is not simply a matter of one
   organization using the space during the day and another at night.

   In addition to her hopes of continuing the program at St. Paul s, Ms.
   Mixon is checking out alternate sites, including some future park space
   on Seymour Street, property owned by the City.  She has contacted Bruce
   Maitland to discuss possibilities of interim use of the properties.

   Ms. Mixon s present wish list looks like this:
   First choice: To continue the Dusk to Dawn program at St. Paul s
   Hospital, Comox Street.
   Second choice: To find space in Downtown South, with SRO accommodation
   on top of a resource centre.
   Third choice: To continue discussions with the Gathering Place.

   Council should be aware that the Gathering Place and Family Services
   have worked closely on one other project.  The Youth Options program
   with a staff of three operated out of the Gathering Place for almost two
   years, offering alcohol and drug counseling to young people.  Though the
   actual office space for Options was tiny, the staff of the two
   organizations co-operated in facility use, programming, and referrals,
   to create a very successful youth outreach and counseling project.  The
   Options program left the Gathering Place early in 1997 to move into a
   large house on Seymour Street with Street Youth Services and the Street
   Nurses, consolidating those specialized services to youth within one


   The Director of the Gathering Place will continue to hold discussions
   with Ms. Mixon.  The Program Co-ordinator of the Gathering Place will
   continue to sit on the Dusk to Dawn Advisory Board.  This writer will
   inform Council of developments.

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