The Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society (DEYAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to homeless and drug-addicted youth in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The purpose of this report is to describe and assess the role of DEYAS as a community agency. The introductory section provides a descriptive overview of the Downtown Eastside, and DEYAS as an organization; outlining its history, structure and programs. The body of the thesis consists of five sections; ‘Resources and Funding’, ‘Engaging Youth’, ‘Dispelling the Myths of Homelessness’, ‘Understanding addictions and Dealing with them Effectively, and ‘The Criminalization of Homelessness’. These sections represent what have been identified as the five key challenges facing DEYAS in fulfilling their major policy objectives. DEYAS programs are discussed, along with guiding principles, policy issues and other important factors influencing DEYAS’s approach. The work of DEYAS is also evaluated with regard to theory, the need for research and recommendations for improvement.
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