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New partnership to enhance support in Greater Victoria for Coast Salish youth

Culturally inclusive supports coming for youth at risk of experiencing homelessness
Staff with Threshold Housing Society outside one of the society’s homes for at-risk youth in Greater Victoria. The society has partnered with NIL TU,O to better serve Indigenous youth. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria’s Threshold Housing Society has partnered with NIL TU,O Child and Family Services Society to expand safe housing and support services for Coast Salish youth at risk of homelessness.

Threshold, which works to prevent homelessness by providing services for youth aged 15 to 24, will have NIL TO,U’s support in creating culturally inclusive spaces for Indigenous youth living in and around Greater Victoria. NIL TO,U serves youth across Tseycum, Pauquachin, Tsawout, Tsartlip, Songhees, Beecher Bay and T’Sou-ke First Nations.

The partnership is critically important, Threshold said in a release, as 30 per cent of youth served by the society identify as Indigenous, which can be directly linked to the over-representation of Indigenous youth in government care.

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“Threshold and NIL TU,O both share the understanding the escalated experiences of Indigenous youth homelessness can be attributed to the lived experiences of colonialism, dispossession, and intergenerational trauma,” noted the release. “As a non-Indigenous agency, Threshold takes the cultural safety of Indigenous youth very seriously and is thrilled to have NIL TU,O’s partnership in the creation of culturally inclusive spaces.”

Katharina Stocker, executive director of NIL TU,O, said the partnership with Threshold begins to repair the gaps in support. “It’s a good beginning in enhancing access to resources based on the actual lived experience of unhoused and at-risk Indigenous youth. This initiative is just another way we are working to keep our Coast Salish kids safe.”

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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