NANAIMO YOUTH SERVICES ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL REPORT 2023
Modelling a culture that instills independence, self-worth and a sense of agency in young people in a welcoming, secure and respectful environment.
Nanaimo Youth Services Association continues to support young people in their quest for housing that they can afford. We know that they are ready to receive help with getting a job but they must have permanent, safe and secure housing before that can happen.
This understanding drives the organization to provide the services that it does: housing, and life skills, job readiness, personal development and driver training programs and other life skills support.
Provide learning opportunities and support to youth so that they can succeed on their path to independence, while acknowledging that individuals are affected by their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
MESSAGE FROM MANAGEMENT
Fiscal 2023 was a year of renewal for NYSA. As an organization, we revisited our mission, involving staff and youth clients in the process. The new vision and mission statements came out of a comprehensive strategic planning process undertaken over 2022-2023. The new Strategic Plan clarifies our mission, and sets out operational goals for staff to tackle. These agency-wide goals are to:
- Work to effectively address the demand for transitional and affordable housing for youth.
- Continue to develop a full-spectrum skills training capability for young people who don’t go on to post-secondary education.
- Expand NYSA’s base of financial support from government, other social service agencies, volunteers, the corporate sector and the community-at-large.
- Generate diversified revenue streams to support growth of support programs and programming options while enhancing the agency’s overall strength.
- Actively help our team to develop and grow professionally and personally by supporting a flexible work life, providing intellectually engaging work, and fair compensation.
As part of the strategic plan, we increased our focus on pushing harder for affordable accommodation options for young people in the mid-Island region. We heard from a substantial number of youth that they were thinking of leaving Nanaimo to find work elsewhere because they could not afford to pay the rents that were being demanded in the marketplace.
From an organizational perspective, our programs operated with similar intakes as the previous year and the financial picture remained stable. Last year, we noted that the DiverseFutures funding program was ending but that the government had not announced anything to replace it. At the close of that fiscal year, the federal government extended the program for another year, so we are once again facing the end of that employment assistance initiative. And like last year, we have not heard whether there is a new program planned to replace it. The program continues to be popular with young people who have challenges getting into the workforce.
Operationally, our financials show that revenues were down slightly but our staff adjusted their budgets and lowered expenses. Overall, the organization showed a modest surplus, which helps it to maintain a suitable reserve to cover operating expenses if, for any reason, revenues decline significantly. There is no reason to believe that this will occur – it is simply good management to prepare for a worst case scenario.
As always, the success of NYSA in achieving its mission lies with the people who work in the agency. It is a pleasure to help our staff carry out their work and see the successes that they achieve. The organization works with very little financial leeway, so everyone does their job without extra frills – they are to be recognized and thanked for their dedication and commitment to the mission. Thank you all!
Chief Administrative Officer
President & Chair
Roughing It – September 2022
2023 at a glance
TOTAL YOUTH HOUSING ROOM NIGHTS
TOTAL BLADERUNNER SUCCESSES
TOTAL DIVERSEFUTURES GRADUATES
L2N DRIVER GRADUATION RATE
BladeRunners is a provincially funded employment training program that provides life skills and job readiness training to youth ages 16 to 30. The goal of the program is to help youth with employment challenges succeed in the local job market.
DiverseFutures is a youth employment program funded in-part by the Government of Canada – Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Program. The program is for youth, ages 16 to 30 years, who seek a clear path to full-time employment.
RentSmart builds capacity and is empowering. Being a good tenant is not an innate skill but is a combination of different skills that can be learned: legal rights and responsibilities, financial management, communication and maintenance skills. Youth graduate with a thorough knowledge of renting and a recognized reference letter.
NYSA’s L2N program matches learner drivers aged 16 to 29 with a supervising driver to help them get the hours of dr iving practice needed to get their N license. This program is a partnership between NYSA and Snuneymuxw First Nation.
SUPPORTING YOUNG FAMILIES
The Supporting Young Families program supports young parents (between the ages of 15 and 30) navigating pregnancy, birth, and post-partum. A resource guide with information regarding pregnancy, supporting and caring for a newborn baby, and daycare options is also provided. From Monday to Friday, a donation room is available at our Bastion Street location with diapers, formula, clothes, strollers and more!
DiverseFutures is NYSA’s federally funded employment readiness program, which offers a comprehensive approach to youth employment search, simultaneously empowering our local community’s employers.
Eligible participants embark on a transformative four-week journey of employment skills training set within an environment that sets high expectations while delivering full support. Throughout this period, participants accrue valuable tickets and certificates, benefit from personalized coaching and enjoy the advantages of expert guidance in their job search. Additionally, they acquire essential skills like public speaking, confidence-building, and self-awareness training, all while receiving generous hourly compensation that adds up to over $2,000.
After the initial four weeks, DiverseFutures maintains its commitment to supporting both participants and local employers by providing an attractive wage subsidy for 14 weeks. This mutually beneficial arrangement not only assists employers financially but also offers young individuals the opportunity to gain practical job experience and showcase their capabilities in a real work setting—a true win-win scenario!
driver training: L2N Program
A recent highlight of the L2N Driving Practice Program and an example of wrap-around service, unity of purpose and helping as a community, is the example of Steven Hagen.
Steven, a young Métis man, came into the BladeRunners program in May 2023 after completing addictions treatment.
His upbringing was full of familial strife and addiction – and as a product of his surroundings, he also moved along that sorrowful road, but made the decision that he was worth all he could muster.
Steven knew that he would be walking a tenuous, narrow path – living in transitional housing, maintaining his discipline (NA Meetings, gym, diet, consistent sleep/wake cycle, BladeRunners training) and counselling.
Steven completed BladeRunners training and was interviewed and then hired by a busy landscape/maintenance company who have successfully employed NYSA employment programming youth clients in the past.
NYSA with the help of the Nowik Mortgage Team’s “Bikes For Kids” program secured Steven a refurbished bike at no cost, allowing him to get to his job’s morning muster point by 7:30 am – an impossibility if he relied on transit.
Throughout the summer, L2N’s Co-Pilot, Les, worked with Steven, practicing his driving skills after work hours and on weekends.
Steven passed his road test on August 27th and now drives a company vehicle from jobsite to jobsite.
IN FISCAL 2023:
IN 2022-2023, WE RAISED
$1.44 M for programs
$0.36 M for operating expenses
IN 2022-2023, WE SPENT
$1.28 M on programming
$0.45 M on operating expenses
Allan Beaudry, Chair
Don Stedeford, Secretary
Leana Pellegrin, Acting Treasurer
Sheila White, Director
Chris Lakusta Director, Housing & Supportive Living
Amanda Pitts Outreach Support Worker
Michelle Ripka Outreach Support Worker
Mccalli Franklin Outreach Support Worker
Brianna Purdy Housing Coordinator
Kourtni Dzugan Residential Housing Worker
Joanne Schofield Residential Housing Worker
Emma Bruschetta Director, BladeRunners
Kim Agnew-Jones Acting Director, BladeRunners
Berani Fielding Director, DiverseFutures
Kennedy Barbosa Trainer and Administrative Coordinator, DiverseFutures
Anthony Maki Job Coach & L2N Coordinator
Les Pangborne-LaHue L2N Driver Accompanist
Lindsay Rathjen Bookkeeper
Allison Evans Controller
Amy Worth Director, Communications & Development
Keith Wilson Chief Administrative Officer
290 Bastion Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R 3A4