Opinion: A caring community

Cyrus Centre in Chilliwack is an important investment in a caring and complete community.

There is a simple philosophy behind ensuring adequate support exists for young people in the community: Helping them now means they are less likely to need more help later.

It’s not a guarantee. But study after study shows that early intervention provides a better chance of long-term success.

That’s why the Cyrus Centre, which opened its doors on Monday, is such a welcome addition to Chilliwack.

The four-bed centre provides emergency shelter for youth in crisis.

But it’s more than a warm bed. It’s the first step in a journey to a more stable, secure and ultimately fulfilling life.

All too often young people who are forced from their homes – either by choice or by circumstance – face a perilous road.

With few skills and little money, they are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and costly mistakes.

It’s a spiral that many young people do not even recognize they’re in. And the deeper they go, the harder it is to climb out.

At least not without help.

Centres like Cyrus can provide that temporary reprieve. They can at least provide the  breathing space teens need to get their bearings and better determine the right path to take.

They need help, but only temporarily. Given the tools and given the support, they will become the strong, independent individuals they know they can be.

It’s a tired cliché that a community is judged by how well it treats its most vulnerable. But if the saying is true, Chilliwack is moving in the right direction.

Those who have worked so hard over the past few years to make this resource available deserve Chilliwack’s appreciation.

It’s is an important investment in a caring and complete community.

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