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Kamloops  

Around 500 B.C. youth could end up without a home in two weeks

Youth facing homelessness

The BC Coalition and A Way Home Kamloops are urging Premier John Horgan to postpone the Sept. 30 deadline for youth aging out of foster care, to stop them from becoming homeless during a pandemic.

Approximately 500 youth in British Columbia will be aging out. That number is based on previous numbers of how many youth age out of care annually.

The foster-care system ages out young people at age 19 and emergency measures have been put in place by the Ministry of Child and Family Development to pause this process during the pandemic. This has allowed young people to remain in their current homes for the last six months.

Some youth have already left the foster-care system and those who are still in the system who have technically aged out will have their emergency measures taken away on Sept. 30. Transition planning is challenging as youth are facing unprecedented challenges in finding safe and secure housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, youth mental concerns and risks of suicide have increased, Katherine McParland, executive director of A Way Home Kamloops, tells Castanet.

"We are asking the province to ensure young people are matched to appropriate housing so that no young person ages out into homelessness during COVID-19. Our second request is that if there isn't housing options available to these young people, that they are allowed to remain in place," she says.

If the province does not extend the deadline, the 500 youth will end up without a home in just over two weeks, McParland adds.



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