Whistler gets new youth outreach worker 

Claire Mozes is putting her university degree to good use in her new position as Whistler’s female youth outreach worker.

"I’m so excited," said Mozes, of her new position.

"It’s exactly what I went to school for... I’m so thrilled to put it to use."

Mozes has a degree in child youth and family care from the University of Victoria and for the past year and half she has been working at a daycare in Whistler.

As of May 17 however she officially became Whistler’s newest youth outreach worker, complementing her male counterpart Greg McDonnell who has been on the job for the past six years.

The two youth outreach workers offer support for Whistler’s young adults ranging in age from 18 to 29 years old.

"Our main purpose is to be a listening ear," said McDonnell, adding that the outreach workers try to ensure the young adults have access and information about all the services available to them.

He calls it "gentle guiding."

Most problems experienced by Whistler youth are related to healthy sexuality, financial issues, drug and alcohol concerns, roommate and relationship problems as well as mental health issues and homelessness.

Though it’s quiet right now during the shoulder season, the phone calls should start ramping up again as the winter season approaches.

Mozes, who has been living in Whistler for the past eight years and is familiar with the local culture, said the youth outreach service is important in Whistler.

"I think a lot of people fall through the cracks here," she said.

Since she began two weeks ago Mozes has been talking to Whistler’s larger employers about the services provided by the youth outreach workers.

She will also be working closely with advisors in staff housing during the winter season as well as co-ordinating Whistler Welcome Week in the fall.

Welcome Week, which had its inaugural year last year, is key to ensuring that Whistler’s seasonal worker are embraced and valued by the community.

Another part of the youth outreach worker’s job is helping seasonal workers who decide to stay in Whistler make the transformation to a more permanent lifestyle.

To contact Whistler’s youth outreach workers call Greg at 604-938-3902 or Claire at 604-902-0670, or call MY Place at 604-935-8187.


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