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In the few months the Whistler Youth Outreach Program has been in place, France Vaudreuil has helped young people deal with issues of conflict with the law, alcohol and drug misuse, employment, unemployment, poverty, homesickness and relationships. Vaudreuil, a Youth Outreach worker with extensive street experience in Quebec, was hired in June to establish herself with the youth of Whistler. Joining youth in the village, the skateboard park, clubs and other local hangouts, she has become someone youth can go to in confidence. The WYOP is currently exploring new ways to reach local youth more effectively. In her summer report, Vaudreuil explains that children of local families between the ages of 14 and 17 can be as vulnerable in many of the same ways as older transient youth, aged 17 to 25, and can benefit even more from vigorous primary intervention. The Whistler Youth Outreach Program is currently seeking local, provincial and federal funding in the hope of sustaining the program and assuring its future. Vaudreuil has built co-operative relationships with providers of community services and resources and works with them to improve their accessibility with young people needing their help. The Outreach worker can approach young people at risk in the community who are not easily accessible by any other means and can assist them in making use of the services they need. A worker observes and intervenes before a situation gets out of control. Changes in mental health, alcohol and drug counselling personnel in the corridor during the summer and a lack of funding has resulted in the program needing extra time and money in order to establish an effective source of professional supervision.

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