Here at YES, we are committed to ensuring the Health and Safety of both the youth and families we serve as well as our staff and volunteers. We have been closely following the recommendations put forth by public health officials and have been working to come up with practices that are in line with the CDC guidelines so we can continue to serve the community during this challenging time. The following program modifications have been made in light of these guidelines:

Individual Counselling Programs which include Life Skills, Supported Independent Living (SIL), Outreach and Youth and Family Support Services (YFSS)

  • Presently, staff continue to work with clients to get their needs met, and are providing modified service delivery. Staff continue to connect with clients, families, service providers and community supports as much as is possible given the BC CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.
  • Currently no face to face meetings either in community or in office are occurring at this time; however counsellors continue to support clients and families via text/messenger/emails/phone.

Drop-In Services: Alliance Club

  • The Alliance Club has shortened its hours to 1:00pm-6:00pm Monday through Thursday and closed on Fridays, this schedule compliments Sanctuary Drop-In services which are available Friday-Sunday. The Club is serving meals to go and has bags made up of toiletry supplies for youth to take.
  • The Alliance Club has limited the number of youth and the amount of time youth are able to be in the space to ensure proper social distancing.

Residential Programs: Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter

  • KEYS has limited the number of youth in the shelter to 4 to best support the health and well being of all youth and staff in the program. This follows the guidelines of social distancing that have been recommended by public health. The number of beds available is being monitored by the Agency to ensure youth have access to safe beds during this time.
  • The referral process will now include talking to the referral agent about the set up of the shelter and the challenges it poses when following the recommended public health guidelines of social distancing.  Staff will work with community supports, and the referral agent to ensure youth have a safe place to stay during this time.
  • Staff will go through the CDC self assessment tool ( for referrals and will follow the steps laid out in this tool if youth are presenting with concerning symptoms. 
  • Youth are able to stay in the shelter all day and do not have to leave. Staff are encouraging youth who are staying at the shelter to stay in to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Residential Programs: Specialized Youth Detox                                                                 

  • SYD is currently limiting the number of youth in the program at one time to best follow the guidelines set out by the BC Center for Disease Control.
  • The Youth Clinic has requested that they be instrumental in decisions regarding who is admitted to SYD given the current public health emergency.
  • As indicated by the Victoria Youth Clinic, they will be medically screening out community referrals from out of town at this time, as to lessen transportation volume as well as the fact that there are multiple concerns with any potential discharge plans. If youth have a home, they will be encouraged to detox in the home settings. At this time, as per the Victoria Youth Clinic, youth detoxing only from alcohol and Xanax and/or who are homeless will be considered for a medical screen and thereby intake and will be further screened by using the BC CDC COVID-19 self-assessment tool.
  •  The Detox Intake Coordinator will be going through the BC CDC self assessment with all referrals.
  • Program modifications including outings and group activities have been made to ensure proper social distancing.

If you have questions regarding a referral to a program, please reach out to program managers for further information:

Pat Griffin, Executive Director:

Julie-Ann Hunter, Programs Manager:

Qionna Fyfe, Specialized Youth Detox Manager:

Thea Pichurski, Kiwanis Emergency Youth Shelter Manager:

As this situation continues to evolve, we are relying on health services including  Public Health Agency of Canada, BC Center for Disease Control (BC CDC), and the World Health Organization for information  and will be updating the community as service delivery changes occur.