The following article appeared in the Times Colonist, Friday, March 9, 2012, written by Derek Spalding
The increasing number of homeless youth in the West Shore has sounded alarm bells for some community leaders looking to eradicate the problem before it gets worse. On Monday, Langford council became the first municipality in the West Shore to endorse a housing report that identifies an immediate need to create a support network for homeless youth.
At least six to eight shelter beds, plus transition houses, are needed for youth from Langford, View Royal, Metchosin, Highlands and Colwood, according to the WestShore Youth Housing Study, produced by Elliott Urban Planning. The problem remains mostly hidden from the public because homeless and at-risk youth carry on with their schooling or jobs without telling anyone, said Bill McElroy, chairman of the Pacific Centre Family Services Association, which provides early-intervention programs for youth between five and 18.