A Survey Assessment of the Vancouver Native Youth Initiative by Youth and Volunteers

Nathan Wong, Jessica Macleod, Trenton Kellock, Kali Romano, Ryan Truanta

ABSTRACT

The Vancouver Native Health Youth Initiative (VNHYI) is a youth drop-in that is run by medical student volunteers and focuses on providing resources, nutritious meals, and access to medical care to at risk youth. Participants in this survey study were recruited using research posters distributed throughout the Downtown Eastside (DTES). Demographic information of youth who access VNHYI services was collected. In addition, participants were provided statements about the VNHYI and asked to “agree” or “disagree”. Participants were also given space for any written feedback that was not addressed by the survey. Seventeen youth participated in this study. The average age was 22.4 years; 58 % were female and 65 % were of First Nations origin. Youth were more likely to access services such as food bags to take home, hot meals, and hygiene products. Overall, youth felt the VNHYI helped them overcome barriers to health care and improve self care, possibly because the VNHYI facilitated a safe and non–judgemental atmosphere. Analyzed data could be used to provide advertisements to unreached youth to increase access to VNHYI services. This formal assessment of the VNHYI can hopefully lead to improvements to create a more positive experience for at–risk youth.

KEYWORDS: youth health; aboriginal health; health access; urban; health centre

Full text (PDF, 865KB)

Wong N, Macleod J, Kellock T, Romano K, Truanta R. A Survey Assessment of the Vancouver Native Youth Initiative by Youth and Volunteers. UBCMJ. 2012 3(2):14-18.