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More youth will be connected to care at new, bigger Foundry Victoria location

November 1, 2023 at 3:44 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

from Foundry Victoria:

Foundry Victoria will formally open the doors to its new space on November 1st, 2023, located at 546 Yates Street in Downtown Victoria. The new Foundry Victoria space is nearly double the size of Foundry Victoria’s previous location, which was located at 818 Douglas Street.

Foundry Victoria has seen an exponential increase in the number of young people ages 12- 24 seeking wellness resources in Greater Victoria over the past year. In 2022, Foundry Victoria saw a 22 percent increase in clients being served – 450 new youth accessed services bringing the centre to a total of 2,500 youth and families already using Foundry services.

“Making sure young people have access to the wraparound supports they need to thrive is critical to building strong and vibrant communities,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “In this new and expanded location, Foundry Victoria will be able to provide even more vital supports in a low-barrier and stigma-free environment so that more young people and their families can get the care they need, where and when they need it.”

To better meet the increasing demand for primary care, mental health and substance use services from Greater Victoria’s youth, the brand-new space has been expanded to include almost double the number of exam rooms, youth-friendly & trauma-informed talking rooms and group rooms, in addition to private outdoor patios and a low-stimulation lounge connected to the main greeting area.

The Victoria Youth Clinic Society started out in 1998 as a 2-room clinic in the James Bay Community Centre and a basement unit on Yates St. with a focus on caring for street- entrenched youth with complex care needs. As demand for services grew, so did the Victoria Youth Clinic, becoming the lead agency of Foundry Victoria in 2017 with the generous support and partnership of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and several local agencies. Becoming part of the Foundry Network led to an expansion of space and programming through connections to province-wide initiatives. Foundry Victoria continues the Victoria Youth Clinic’s mission to support vulnerable youth through free and confidential services like primary care, sexual health, substance-use support, counselling, and peer support.

“We want youth and their families to know that at Foundry Victoria they can access the care they need in a space where they feel like they belong. The move to 546 Yates has enabled us to scale up the good work we are already doing, enabling more young people in our community to work towards their wellness goals,” says Ricki Justice, Executive Director, Foundry Victoria. “We are so grateful for the way the community has rallied around us to make this exciting project possible.”

“We are beyond thrilled that Foundry Victoria now has a brand-new expanded centre to better serve the complex health and wellness challenges faced by youth in the Greater Victoria Area”, said Steve Mathias, Foundry’s Co-executive Director. “Foundry’s vision is to always meet youth where they’re at and support them to live good lives. This new centre speaks to Foundry’s commitment to tailoring, evolving and growing our centres and services to provide the best possible wellness resources for young people in this province.”

Foundry services are a vital part of our health care system, provided by Providence Health Care. The Foundry is grateful for the support of Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions, Ministry of Health, Children’s Health Foundation Vancouver Island, the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund, and private donors for supporting this construction project and move.

“Foundry Victoria provides vital services to vulnerable youth in our community. Thanks to the support of government and private donors, we can now serve clients more effectively in our new location.” says Heather Brazier, VYCS Board Chair.

A Grand Opening Ceremony will take place on Nov. 1, 2023, from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM to celebrate this milestone accomplishment. In addition to the Grand Opening Ceremony, the Victoria Youth Clinic Society – Foundry Victoria’s lead agency – will be hosting a Community Open House event on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, from 12PM to 4PM. This event is also in celebration of the Victoria Youth Clinic Society’s 25th anniversary.

“As more youth and families have accessed Foundry Victoria’s services since the pandemic, this expanded facility is crucial to making sure they can continue providing these essential services to young people in the region,” said Grace Lore, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill. “The programs and resources provided at Victoria Foundry save lives and provide a solid foundation for healthier and happier lives.”

For more information, or to make a donation, visit: Victoria Youth Clinic

About Victoria Youth Clinic Society – Foundry Victoria

The Victoria Youth Clinic’s mission is to provide integrated primary health care services, including mental health and addiction care, for youth aged 12 to 24 years. The Victoria Youth Clinic is the operator of Foundry Victoria, a provincial initiative to support youth and families to access mental health care services.

Our integrated healthcare teams work collaboratively to provide services at the forefront of our community’s needs: mental health, substance use, primary care, social services, and peer support. This includes free access to same-day counselling sessions, art therapy, vaccinations, STI testing, and referrals to specialists. The Clinic also links youth to a variety of on-site and off-site social services including job training, housing supports, and alternative education.

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