- Our Town
New program assists youth at risk
A program aimed at assisting high-risk youth in the region celebrated the grand opening of its Williams Lake office last week.
Changing Directions In Support of Aboriginal Youth has two offices — one in Nanaimo and one in Williams Lake.
“We’ve entered a five-year agreement with the province,” program director Darryl Shackley said, noting the funding comes from Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre.
The program will support First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth between age 12 to 18 who are at risk of criminal and gang-related activity.
The purpose of the program is to assist young people who carry risk factors that may cause disruptive behaviour and criminal activity.
There will be male and female Aboriginal youth support workers in each office that will assist young people and their families by using a process called, “Wraparound, Shackley said.
This is a process where members of the community work together to create an action plan that benefits a young person and their family.
Changing Directions is using community engagement to bring together people that want to be involved on a case by case basis.
These network members work together to deliver accountability, positive steps and holistic growth.
With last week’s open house, staff in Williams Lake are ready to help young people.
In Williams Lake, there are three staff members, including program manager Shannon Stump-William, and two youth support workers — Christine Habsburg and Mike Archie.
“Six staff members were hired in December and have been busy ever since getting the infrastructure in place to open our two offices,” Shackley said.
The office is located at 208-197 Second Ave. North.