An innovative grant ensures hundreds of youth in Surrey have access to essential supports at the City Centre Youth Hub

Central City Foundation, along with our passionate donors, has always been committed to helping youth in the Lower Mainland. That’s why we are delighted to announce our continued innovative support of Pacific Community Resource Society. Commonly known as PCRS, this organization has been working to inspire healthy and inclusive communities throughout the Lower Mainland for more than 40 years. With numerous locations and a wide variety of programs, PCRS provides supports and services to assist children, youth, adults and families with education, employment, substance abuse, violence, homelessness and cultural connection.

In 2019, PCRS opened the City Centre Youth Hub in the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey. This was made possible in part through an innovative social purpose real estate investment created by Central City Foundation. A partially repayable grant provided the final equity needed by PCRS to purchase and renovate the property. This purpose-built facility was designed to create a safe, welcoming and much-needed drop-in environment for youth to access resources and build social connections.

Over the last five years, the City Centre Youth Hub has become an important resource for youth in the Whalley area. From April to September 2023, for example, more than 1,500 individual youth accessed services.

Along with our amazing donors, Central City Foundation believes that youth should have safe access to food, showers, laundry, computers, games and social activities that include events and outings. There are also weekly visits with Indigenous elders and other opportunities for cultural teaching and learning. Staff are on-site and able to connect with individuals and offer supports and referrals to counselling, life skills programming, education or employment resources and substance use support.

There is a wide diversity of programs available to assist youth both in the short-term or long-term, depending on the individual’s specific needs. Stop Exploiting Youth (SEY), for example, is a program that provides immediate outreach response and support services to youth identified as being in sexually exploitative situations or at risk of being in sexually exploitative relationships. Workers establish relationships with youth and offer immediate response services to situations involving youth sexual exploitation, help to locate missing youth and assist with developing wrap-around service plans.

Youth Outreach and Empowerment Support Services (YOESS) is another example of a program that is available at City Centre Youth Hub. YOESS provides intensive, ongoing supports to youth aged 13-19 who are coping with multiple challenges to their well-being. Youth workers support transition planning for youth to successfully age out of care by offering opportunities to empower youth to make meaningful connections within the community that will support them into adulthood in a positive and strengths-focused way.

City Centre Youth Hub is also the home of Honour Secondary School (HSS). An alternative high school for youth with unique learning needs, HSS provides a full range of academic programming that includes skill development opportunities. Students benefit from a small class environment and individualized instruction customized to each learner’s specific needs. Of the 30 students that attend HSS each year, 15 seats are reserved for youth justice programs. HSS provides support to students to be successful in their education and includes a breakfast and lunch program, supports for youth living independently or parenting, support for youth experiencing homelessness, and support to reduce instances of involvement in criminal activity, including gang involvement and exploitation.

When you donate to Central City Foundation, you are supporting innovative community-led solutions such as Surrey’s City Centre Youth Hub.

We were especially pleased to find a way to support these essential services for youth in Surrey while developing a new tool for social purpose real estate investment that will help us to continue to invest our capital, indeed all our resources, in our mission at CCF.”

– Jennifer Johnstone, President & CEO, Central City Foundation