Youth leader plans to spend night outside in snow hut

Cory Hurley
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CORNER BROOK  Alone on a winter night in Corner Brook, with no place to go, is not an ideal situation for a young man.

D.J. Pike planned to sleep in this snow hut Friday night to help raise awareness about homelessness in Corner Brook.

D.J. Pike, youth centre co-ordinator with the Community Youth Network, has seen it too many times and heard of countless other stories. Friday, he expected to do something about it.

Pike planned to spend Friday night in a snow hut he built on Pier Road near downtown Corner Brook. His sacrifice is a symbolic gesture to raise awareness of the homelessness problem that exists in the city.

“I am looking to grab some attention and let people know there is an issue with, particularly, youth homelessness in Corner Brook,” he said. “It’s not typically heard of, but there is a lot of couch surfing and things like this that does go on. There is a need for a shelter.”

The Community Youth Network has a small emergency housing fund to provide a hotel room for people from time to time. In partnership with the Humber Community YMCA, the Community Mental Health Initiative, and the West Rock Community Centre, the Community Youth Network is working to establish a homeless shelter for men in Corner Brook.

“I think it is greatly needed,” he said. “It would avoid that problem of youth stuck in the situation where they have to try to be put up in hotels for a few nights and then having to jump from friend to friend. They would be able to stay for a significant amount of time in this shelter, until they are able to arrange permanent housing.”

Pike says there is a lack of affordable housing in the area, but also not enough job opportunities for young people to be able to afford the accommodations that are available.

The Community Youth Network is hosting a pancake breakfast Tuesday at St. John the Evangelist Church on Main Street from 7-11 a.m. The network is also selling toques to raise awareness and funds for the cause.

Twitter: WS_CoryHurley

Organizations: Community Youth Network, Humber Community YMCA, West Rock Community Centre Evangelist Church

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Pier Road

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Recent comments

    February 10, 2013 - 18:41

    Very interesting comments .... and thumbs up to you DJ ! First I like to say DJ your a wonderful young man ... Everyone deserves a chance and its wonderful to see you as a young member of our closed minded city of Corner Brook to step up and have a voice. As for you Abby not all kids in cb have a good home ... And as for u talking about gov funding housing for kids ? you should open your closed mind and realize that half of corner brooks adults shouldn't be funded by the gov ! so please open up your minds and realize that kids should have a chance too !!

  • David
    February 09, 2013 - 15:04

    Although I do agree Abby that there are some Youth that choose to leave their homes as they don't want to follow the rules, there also youth that are homeless due to unfortunate circumstances. Even youth who don't follow rules deserve support of some kind. We all have made mistakes, and made bad choices, its the people that step in to help that can make a difference. I believe you are making a sweeping generalization and need to understand that every teens story is different!

  • Artie
    February 09, 2013 - 15:04

    Abbey, Not all youth have it good at home. Some are completely ignored and do without basic needs. Some are beaten and raped, and many are bullied by drunken parents. I am tired of people assuming it is always the fault of the kids. The kids are learning from parents, and if they fall down the slippery slope to nowhere, it is because their parents let them. I do find your comment to be a little narrow minded. You are implying that all kids have to do is follow the rules and the need for a shelter will go away. What about if the kids is going home knowing that their parent or parents are drunk and waiting to hand out a beating. If you think this does not happen in Corner Brook as well as everywhere else, then your comment is 100% useless.

  • Kevin
    February 09, 2013 - 13:38

    Abby, you can't tell me you honestly think the youths themselves are responsible for being homeless in every case. That's just ignorant. Not all of them are fortunate enough to come from a healthy and caring home. The last thing any of these homeless youth need is someone passing judgement on them. They need help, be it in the form of a shelter, job preparation services, counselling, access to government programs, or a night in a hotel(or a combination of these things) if need be. Hats off to the CYN, Humber Community YMCA, Community Mental Health Initiative, West Rock Community Centre and everyone else involved in raising awareness.

  • Citizen
    February 09, 2013 - 12:10

    I agree with Abby to as point; some teens end up homeless because their families cannot tolerate self-destructive and sometimes illegal behaviours that tear their family unit apart. Can't really blames the families in that case. In other cases, the teen is not to blame. In any event, local businesses do assert that many young workers frequently call in "sick" if they do not feel like working, and in some cases these businesses cannot hire enough workers at all. The idea of a solid work ethic , of being reliable, punctual, hard-working, and dedicated, seems to be lost on many of our "entitled" youth of today. Many youth want a hefty paycheque without realizing that that comes with education, experience, and good work performance. And we, the adults, have nobody to blame but ourselves. I am sympathetic to people who are homeless due to bad luck, mental or physical health issues, and so forth. But I have no sympathy for people who get themselves in needless trouble or just refuse to be educated or work. Take a look around the Valley Mall - there is no shortage of idle youth hanging around there, many making complete nuisances of themselves . They should be working and contributing to their upkeep.

  • abby
    February 09, 2013 - 10:32

    D J , there would not be a need for a shelter for youth in Corner Brook or any where else,if youth would obey the rules of the home and realize how good they have it at home.The street is no place for teens and one cannot expect the govts. to fund housing for kids who don't want to listen to rules anywhere, home or anywhere else.

    • Youth Worker
      February 10, 2013 - 19:45

      Abby, do you even know what a YOUTH is?? Youths are not only teens. Youth include people up to 30 years of age so before you go passing judgement on "teens not obeying rules at home" do your research! If you don't work around it or want to learn/hear about it going on, then you know nothing about it!