A place to rest my head

Kiwanis Club of Vancouver makes a donation for beds and computers

“It didn’t take long for us to decide.”

For Rob Spinner and his colleagues at the Kiwanis Club of Vancouver, making the decision to support youth services was an easy one.

Rob and other members of the youth committee had a tour of Directions and Safe House, a visit that impacted them greatly.

“We met some of the youth at the Safe House and Directions,” he says. “We chatted with some of the youth – some just sixteen and younger – and then we spoke to staff who are on the front lines every day. Hearing them recount their stories really hit home.”

The donation of $8,000 went towards the purchase of new beds for the two sites, bed-bug resistant bed covers and two computers.

The donation came from a request for funding for youth that Kiwanis had sent out to organizations. Nicki McGregor, service manager at Directions, responded and subsequently invited Kiwanis for a tour.

“Some of the feedback we received from the youth was about the age and poor condition of the beds,” she says. “Going through detox isn’t easy, and not being able to get sleep doesn’t help.”

They also invested some of the funds in bed bug resistant covers that don’t rustle when the person in the bed rolls over. It may seem like an insignificant detail, but for the youth, having a comfortable place to rest is vital.

“It’s about respect,” notes Nicki. “If you’re treated with dignity and respect, then you treat yourself and others with dignity and respect. The youth can get a good night’s sleep, have a private place to rest and recover and take refuge from street life.”

She adds: “We’d like to give our sincere thanks to everyone at Kiwanis,” she says. “Our funding doesn’t always cover things like new beds and computers, and these things mean a great deal to the youth. It means they’re safe and comfortable and can connect with family and friends.”

“I think it’s important for service organizations like Kiwanis to step in to help fill the gaps,” say Rob. “We certainly hate to see children and youth suffering and Family Services is of like mind. We feel really good about helping out.”

The image in this post is a detail of a series of murals located in the new Directions site located on Burrard Street. The images are photographs taken of murals at various Vancouver locations.