The Urban Native Youth Centre, located in the downtown Eastside, is a three-storey, multipurpose facility designed to support First Nation youth through a broad spectrum of social, educational, counseling, health, athletic and cultural programs. Urban First Nation youth are statistically at high risk for poverty, crime, violence, drug and alcohol addiction, health problems and social challenges, and lack opportunities for education and cultural participation. The youth range from age 13 to 25 and come from all over British Columbia and Canada. Many are living away from their home Indian Reservations for the first time and lack the familiar cultural and family support networks. Many are single parents. Most are impoverished.

The client's intent is to provide a sociable and engaging environment off the street, where youth feel a sense of belonging, where participation is encouraged in safe surroundings, and where support services are open and accessible. The mandate of the Urban Native Youth Centre is to be prominent, accessible, and relevant to youth from many varied First Nations cultural traditions.

Environmental stewardship and a connection with natural systems were deemed by the client to be critical aspects of traditional First Nation values; thus the goal of certifying the building at the LEED Platinum level. Notably, energy modeling has demonstrated that the building is capable of meeting 71 to 74 % energy savings versus the Canadian model national energy code. This would place the building among the most energy efficient in North America.

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NATIVE YOUTH CENTRE