A new space for youth to chill out, get creative and just be themselves has opened in Tofino.
Launched in collaboration between the West Coast Community Resources Society and Building Youth Futures, Tofino’s new Youth Room is located inside the WCRS office at 110 2nd Street and will be open to students from Grade 8-12 Monday-Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.
“It provides that space where they can go and land and truly be themselves and exist in a judgment-free, stigma-free environment,” Tristan Godberson of WCRS told the Westerly News.
He explained that a designated space for youth to hang out was one of the action items called for during a Youth Forum held last fall where young locals were given a voice to share what they’d like to see in their community.
Godberson noted that a Youth Room in Ucluelet “has been a really positive space” and he’s excited to see similar success in Tofino.
“It’s their space and it’s open to them,” he said. “It’s so needed because youth spaces in the communities are lacking as far as activities and things to do after school.”
He said the space will have art, knitting and beading supplies as well as video games and homework support and will also serve as a valuable introduction to WCRS’ services.
“Sometimes, that can be a hard system to navigate even for adults. There’s a lot of barriers that can come along with that, whether it’s stigma, whether it’s them not knowing how to navigate those systems or even knowing really what they need,” he said. “It’s not structured, but there’s a lot of scaffolding underneath of it.”
He added the new Youth Room will evolve through input from its users.
“We want all the youth to know that they’re all really welcome and we’re really trying to make it for them. If they have any ideas or thoughts we’d love to hear them. We’re really trying to engage them as much as we can,” he said.
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