UNYA's mandate is to provide meaningful opportunities for Native youth (Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit, First Nations, Status, Non-Status) in the urban setting. Our goal is to be a safe place for Native youth to come and find out about programs and services at UNYA and in the broader community.
As of 2008, we offer twenty-one programs including four live-in programs and have over one hundred volunteers, almost 100 full and part-time staff, and 200 community partners.
We continue to focus much of our efforts on community development initiatives, as we believe that the strengthening of our community as a whole can have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of Native youth. Over the years, we have tried to contribute to the positive development of our community by creating our Full Circle and Helping Hands manuals, hosting community meetings and forums, offering training on youth issues to the community, serving on community steering committees, attending consultation meetings, conducting research, developing innovative programs, hiring and training youth, participating on the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council, and creating partnerships that expand services for Native youth.
Employment & Volunteering
We have almost 100 staff working within 21 programs, so we are always looking for talented and dynamic people to join our team.
Why work for UNYA?
We pay 40 hours per week, not 35 or 37.5, for full-time
Full-time staff are eligible for extended health benefits
We are committed to team building
We have a history of almost 25 years of successful youth service
We believe in empowering Native youth
We encourage and support youth voice
UNYA welcomes both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal volunteers, for we understand that youth need the support of those who are willing and qualified to help out, regardless of their cultural identity. What's most important is an openness and ability to support Native youth.
Additional individual program volunteer opportunities can be found on the program pages.
Here are our Current Volunteer Opportunities.
In addition to the 21 programs in Education & Training, Personal Support, Live-in, and Sports & Rec, we also have many other workshops and projects throughout the year. They include short-term (example: once a week for four weeks), periodic (example: once every three months), and special one-time projects on their own or as part of a program. You can read about some of these activities by visiting our Special Projects page. You can find out more about our upcoming, ongoing, and yearly activities by visiting our Activities Schedule.
Although a lack of funding does not allow us many opportunities to offer programs that are only for females, young parents, or GLBTQ/Two-spirit youth, we work to make sure that all of our programs are welcoming as possible to all Native youth.
Aboriginal Outreach Team
Goals / Purpose of Program
The Outreach Workers provide street outreach services and support to Aboriginal youth between the ages of 13 -18 years old who are involved in street life. We work closely with the three Vancouver Youth Hubs to ensure that youth who are street involved are being supported and are gaining access to the programs and services they need.
The goals of this program are to:
Provide non-judgmental support
Provide at-risk Aboriginal youth with healthy alternatives to street-involvement
Encourage youth access to supportive programs and services in the community
Foster increased partnerships among service providers and community organizations to positively respond to the needs of Aboriginal youth
The Outreach Workers provide support to youth to find services and resources that can help them to move away from street life, return home, return to school or training, positively address alcohol and drug issues, and many other issues and concerns.
It is our goal to become involved with youth before they enter street life, and we strive to help them avoid street entrenchment. If youth have become street involved or entrenched, we take a harm reduction approach and strive to provide options that support them in seeking healthy alternatives.
A Glimpse in a day of the UNYA Outreach Worker - A glimpse of the diverse locations and services the Outreach team provides to Aboriginal Youth in the Vancouver community.
Information and referrals for youth and their families or caregivers
Direct connection and access to the three Youth Hubs throughout Vancouver
One-to-one support and crisis intervention, as needed
How Youth Can Become Involved
Youth aged 13-18 years old and/or their families who are willing to work towards positive personal change to enhance youth’s opportunities can self-refer to the program. Anyone can refer an at-risk youth to the Outreach Workers.
Due to the type of programming and concerns for youth safety, there are no volunteer opportunities for this program at this time.
We would be very grateful to accept donations of items that can be given to youth on the street. In particular, the following would be very useful for our programming:
New Mitts, Toques, Scarves, etc.
Sleeping Bags (new or dry-cleaned)
Depending on the type, size and value of the donation, UNYA may be able to provide a tax receipt for donations. Please call the Program Coordinator at 604-254-7732 to discuss your possible donation.
BC Ministry of Children & Family Development
1618 East Hastings Street,Vancouver, BC, V5L 1S6
Phone: 604-868-0368 or 604-868-0613