Youth program at risk as funding dries up
Youth outreach program PoCoMo may be forced to shut down because of a lack of funding. November 10, 2012. (CTV)
Published Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:20PM PST
The head of a youth outreach program in Port Coquitlam says it could be forced to shut down due to a lack of funding.
PoCoMo Youth Services Society is a non-profit organization that tries to reach out to disadvantaged youth. At night, the organization’s youth services buses will drive around the Tri-Cities, picking up at-risk youth and giving them a safe place to gather. They also offer services for things like drug addiction and bullying.
All of that could disappear if more funding isn’t found, said executive director Jeremy Bouvier. He says the charity, which has been running for eight years, relies solely on donations and grants to stay afloat, and the money is drying up this year.
“At the end of the day it’s the hundreds and hundreds of young people that we serve after hours on these Friday and Saturday nights where the kids are vulnerable, really marginalized, and really struggling,” he said. “A lot of the time they just need a safe place to go and we provide that late at night. We’re the only safe place after hours.”
Bouvier said competition among non-profit organizations for funding is fierce, and times have been particularly difficult this year. He says the group could be forced to scale back services in four months.