Members of the White Rock Youth Collective presented to council on Monday.

Youth group’s funding request receives only encouragement

‘Unrealistic’ to expect White Rock to match financial contribution sought from Surrey, Peninsula group told

Youth working to create an inclusive and safe space for teens in White Rock returned to council this week to share more specifics of their plan and request funds to help make it happen.

But while city leaders praised the teens for their ideas, enthusiasm and organization, they were critical of a plan to ask White Rock and the City of Surrey to contribute equal funding to the effort.

“To expect the City of White Rock and the City of Surrey to contribute the same amount is a little bit unrealistic,” Coun. Helen Fathers told teen presenters, Tayla and Kira (last names withheld by request), who spoke alongside Alexandra Neighbourhood House youth and family worker Jessie Kergan and supervisor Maxine Larmour.

The teens are among a group of about 25 youth – dubbed the White Rock Youth Collective – who have been striving for the past 18 months to find space in uptown White Rock to call their own.

Ideally, it will be approximately 2,500 square feet, located somewhere between the Whaling Wall and 24 Avenue – but not too central, said Larmour – accessible by transit and would not have to be shared.

Monday, they shared statistics that show 20 per cent of White Rock residents are youth and 27 per cent are seniors; at the same time, the city’s seniors have access to three dedicated centres, while youth have none.

Proposed budget options included in the Sept. 29 council agenda suggest each of the cities contribute just over $92,000 to the project’s first year; a third $92,000 is hoped to come from grants.

Larmour told Peace Arch News the figures are not firm, and may vary depending on factors such as hours of operation and programming. They hope to be self-supporting by year six.

Kergan told council that securing start-up funding is critical to the success of the teens’ quest. She noted the group lost out on a space near the Whaling Wall a week ago because they didn’t have the funds at-hand.

“We have to have the money to be ready, otherwise other people sweep in,” she said.

So far, in-kind and volunteer donations total $47,600; and the group is waiting to hear on grant applications totalling $26,000. They are also hoping to win $100,000 in the online Aviva Community Fund competition. First-round voting is on now until Oct. 13.

The collective is scheduled to present their efforts, ideas and funding request to Surrey council on Oct. 15.

While White Rock Couns. Helen Fathers and Bill Lawrence both suggested Monday that finding shared space might be easier for the teens, Larmour said the youth have been clear it is not their goal.

Regarding the budget figures, Mayor Wayne Baldwin also described the equal ask as “unrealistic.”

“You may want to play with those numbers,” he said.

However, Coun. Louise Hutchinson said equal funding may well be appropriate, given the changing demographics in the White Rock/South Surrey area.

It is “a very Peninsula community and it could very well be a 50-50 community,” she said. “Our bulge is getting lower and lower when it comes to demographics.”

Council voted to refer the presentation to staff.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey students donate 2,000 pairs of socks

Initiative part of the Leo Club program

Surrey hosts grand-opening ceremony of North Surrey arena complex

‘Accessible’ facility features three sheets of ice

Lord Tweedsmuir tops Tamanawis in all-cat fight for Surrey RCMP Classic title

Panthers’ Jaeden Reid was named MVP at all-Surrey boys tournament

Trade to hometown team a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Surrey Eagles defenceman

Kieran O’Hearn gets to play in front of family, who live just minutes from South Surrey Arena

White Rock solid waste open house scheduled

Event to take place next month

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read

l -->