Victoria company looks to build better lives for challenged youth

Horizon Pacific’s Step Up Community Build aimed at reducing daily barriers in youth’s lives

Horizon Pacific Contracting owner Tim Agar looks over one of his company’s projects in Gordon Head. The Saanich-based company is offering to make home improvements to improve the living conditions of a Greater Victoria youth. (File Photo/Black Press Media)

Corvin Miller and his family struggled on a daily basis in their old home, all the bedrooms and bathrooms were on the second floor and Corvin, who’s physical challenges limit his ability to walk, had to be carried upstairs by his parents every time he needed to use toileting and bathing.

The Miller family was the first to participate in the Step Up Community Build, a program aimed at giving families one less barrier to allow them and their children to focus on reaching their full potential.

RELATED: Renovations open doors to mobility challenged teen

Helping the family move to a new building, Horizon Pacific Contracting added a bedroom and an accessible bathroom to their rental suite, installed a new wheelchair-friendly sidewalk and other various upgrades to make it easier for the family to use everyday. Corvin now has full access to a bathroom on the main floor as well as his own bedroom for the first time.

Horizon Pacific Contracting is accepting applications for their second Step Up Community Build program. The Saanich-based company offers renovations at no cost to help youth and their families who are facing adversity in their daily lives. The program is open to youth aged 16 or younger whose daily challenges could be reduced with an improvement to their living environments. Potential projects could range from wheelchair ramps to bathroom modifications.

RELATED: New build lot secured in Central Saanich for Habitat for Humanity

Samantha Agar, program manager for Horizon Pacific Contracting, says the program is adding real value to the community.

“Every candidate expressed such gratitude for this program and said they hadn’t seen anything like it before. Regardless of whether they were selected, they wanted us to know how much they appreciated the opportunity to apply,” says Agar.

Program criteria and applications are posted on Applications for the program must be received by midnight on April 30. The home must be located in Greater Victoria and the family cannot be currently receiving charitable assistance from another organization. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and the evaluation process includes a home visit.

The family or families chosen will be announced in May, with work commencing later in 2019. Applications will be evaluated based on how much of a difference the renovation will make in the daily lives of the youth and the family, how the renovation will contribute to the youth applicant’s overall well-being and ability to enjoy a fuller life as well as if the renovation will allow the youth applicant to live more independently.

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