Media Advisory: A Night in the Life – Youth Homelessness Awareness

Vancouver, BC—On Thursday October 15, at 8:00pm, as part of the City of Vancouver’s Homelessness Action Week, Directions Youth Services will give Vancouverites a glimpse into the life of homeless youth with its homeless simulator. Here, participants will take on the role of a homeless youth for the evening. They’ll take a youth-led, “street-involved” tour of Vancouver’s downtown, to help set the stage. Then back at Directions, they will attempt to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, and health care by visiting stations representing service providers such as social workers and shelters. They will also encounter the same roadblocks youth do. All media is invited to attend.

What:   A Night In The Life – Homeless Simulator
Where: Directions Youth Services Centre – 1138 Burrard St (Across from St Paul’s hospital)
When:  Thursday, October 15 at 8:00 pm

“People might understand intellectually that life is hard for these kids. But trying to get your anti-psychotic prescription filled when you don’t have a bus ticket, it’s raining, you don’t have a care card or ID, a long line of other people waiting, you don’t smell great, you can’t bring your dog into the waiting room and you have no one you trust to look after your dog – is a whole different reality check. Even though this is set up as a game, experiencing it personally it creates a whole different level of awareness,” says Calum Scott, Director of Youth Services.

The simulator is part of A Night in the Life, an awareness-builder and fundraiser which is also part of Directions’ 10 year anniversary celebrations and the City of Vancouver’s Homelessness Action Week. Participants will get a youth-led street survival tour, experience the simulator, sleep out on the streets, and each raise a minimum of $2500 for Directions.

Directions Youth Services works with the most vulnerable youth on Vancouver streets, the ones that need help the most. Operated by Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Directions runs a  24 /7 drop-in centre, a detox, a safehouse, street outreach, and other crucial supports for youth. Directions provides youth with a safe, warm, dry place to go off the streets. Youth can get a meal, wash their clothes, take a shower. And while a youth is at Directions, staff begin to build trust with him/her, opening the door to the conversations that are needed to take steps to help get off the streets, such as finding housing, getting into detox, and developing work and life skills.