Working to Create a Safe, Sober, Space for Teens in Their Community

Teenagers need to belong and feel accepted, and they need to know that someone cares for them, or better yet, that the entire community cares for them.

The City of Surrey hosted the ‘Surrey Steps Up Awards’, on May 2, 2014, at the brand new Surrey City Hall, where Mayor Diane Watts honored Surrey teens who are making a positive difference in their community.

A group of teens at the awards from “The Youth Space Project”, is making a difference in the White Rock/South Surrey area.  The group set up a mini youth space in the lobby of Surrey City Hall, complete with cozy couches, fun games, and snacks, and invited people to come and hang out with them.

Youth collective building a space for youth at Surrey Steps Up 2014

Their dream is to create a badly needed ‘youth space’ in their own community, and they are reaching out to the larger community to make their dream a reality.  Tayla, one of the teens says: “there’s nothing for teens to do in our area”.  She is looking for sponsorship for a youth space, where teens can participate in fun activities together.  Grace is also working on the youth space project, but she looked more solemn, saying:  “a lot of our friends have died from drugs”.  “We need a safe, sober place to hangout, where we feel accepted and can express ourselves in a positive way” she says.

youth space project

Example of what a youth space would look like

The group is currently accepting donations to create an environment where teens can get together after school. Alexandra Neighborhood House, and the local RCMP, agree with the need for a youth space, and are encouraging the teens to ask individuals and businesses in the community to take the opportunity to invest in them, show they care, spread some goodwill in the community, and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

With so many new families moving into the area, the demographic trend is toward a younger population, and they need a safe place to work on their resumes for their job search, meet new friends, or explore volunteer opportunities in their community, that would aid in keeping youth off the streets and away from harm.

Their goal is to secure a space by this fall.  The ideal location for the youth space is the vicinity of 152nd St and 18th Ave.   If you can help them by providing a building (approx. 2500 square feet), that can be converted into a youth space, please contact Jessie Kergan – Youth and Family worker at Alexandra House.  Alexandra House will process all donations and issue a tax receipt to businesses or individuals who sponsor the project.

Top Photo: Surrey Youth

Bottom Photo: photo pin/creative commons.

81 thoughts on “Working to Create a Safe, Sober, Space for Teens in Their Community

  1. Hey there, I’m Will, one of Tayla’s old friends, and for right now I can’t, but maybe when I get some work I’d love to lend a helping hand however I can, preferably through volunteer work. I completely agree that teens do need a safe and sober place to go to do something other than sit up-town and smoke a joint, or go to the beach by the train bridge and drink a 2’6 of smirnoff… Kids with nothing to do will make something to do, even if what they make is illegal. Parents keep wondering why their teenage children are acting out, being disrespectful, ignorant, arrogant, egotistical brats… well yes they are teenagers, but mostly it’s because unless you have a full-time job, there is nothing to do, and even then most of what there is to do is destructive. Find something that can interest a wide variety of teenagers, and work to keep the addicts from doing drugs there, the drunks from drinking there and maybe you might have a chance. The only problem I have with this idea is how little you can actually do… But at least someone’s trying, so again, I would love to help when I am able to. Good luck, and I hope everything works out. 🙂

  2. Hi William: We appreciate your comments. By joining the conversation you have already done something to help! Thanks, and all the best! 🙂

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