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New 'youth hub' pitched for Delta

Having youth-friendly spaces was among the needs identified in the new Social Action Plan
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The updated plan is the culmination of over 30 months of work involving research, consultation with community partners, government stakeholders and Delta residents.

Delta has a new Social Action Plan, a plan that identifies youth and other needs in the city.

Endorsed by council earlier this month, it’s an update from Delta’s previous plan from 2018 and covers 2023 to 2028, a culmination of research findings and feedback from community groups and Delta residents.

Also helping shape the plan were other initiatives and various studies that were undertaken during the last two years, including Delta's Poverty Needs Assessment, Delta's Childcare Strategy and Action Plan, as well as a study on the Impacts of COVID-19 on the homeless population in Delta.

In addition, civic staff from all departments have been engaged in considering the proposed actions and identifying departmental leads and capacities.

The new plan retains the foundations of the 2018 Social Action Plan, including the seven key strategic directions, and introduces 29 corresponding objectives and 190 actions.

A report to council notes that 40 per cent are already in progress.

Staff also recommend that several priorities be reflected in council's direction for early implementation over the next 12-to-18 months, including exploring opportunities for providing increased integrated services for youth and their families, potentially through collaboration with community partners on a neighbourhood or youth hub in Delta.

Among the findings during consultations was a desire to have youth-friendly spaces where youth can hang out.

“We heard directly from Delta youth that they would like: more fun outdoor public spaces; opportunities to learn life skills; more sports and recreation activities; more indoor spaces to get together; and more accessible counselling services,” the report notes. “Delta's Social Action Plan includes 27 actions to increase access to child and youth programs that promote healthy development, and to improve the sense of belonging of Delta's youth and access to services and public places in Delta.”

The report also notes that Delta staff are working with community partners through the Delta Children and Youth Committee to explore opportunities to establish a youth hub in Delta. Delta's annual funding of counselling and related initiatives for at-risk youth, and its free recreation pass program for youth in the city, are other examples of ongoing actions that support the theme.

Some of the other areas covered under the Social Action Plan include food security, seniors and affordable housing.

The report adds that while some of the action plan is already in progress, some of the actions will require additional resources.

In the last three years, Delta staff have been successful in receiving provincial grant funding and will continue to pursue funding opportunities to expedite the implementation of the plan.